On Feb. 21, 2022, A NEWS CENTER in Maine made a public request for information on Mike's murder on behalf of the Maine State Police.

Below is the NEWS CENTER'S  public request that says  the police are pushing for answers to help solve the 41-year-old case

Police seek justice for unsolved death of Dedham man

"Michael Cochran, 24, was found among the rubble of a burned-out cabin in Dedham on Feb. 24, 1981. Police are pushing for answers to help solve the 41-year-old cold case killing of Michael Cochran of Dedham. In a Facebook post, Maine State Police detectives said the 24-year-old man’s body was discovered among the rubble of a burned-out cabin in Dedham on Feb. 24, 1981. Police said they believe the cabin was burned on Feb. 18, 1981. Police ruled his death a homicide, and the case has remained unsolved. Police are asking anyone with information about Cochran’s murder to call the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit at 207-973-3750."
I am Mike Cochran's mother. I will be 86 years old next month. In 1981 when Mike was murdered I was 44. I have spent nearly half my life trying to get justice for Mike. I was first told Mike's death was an accident. I spent years trying to find out what happened the night he was murdered while begging the Maine State Police for help, to no avail. There has been no justice for Mike and I have been told by the Attorney General's Office that there won't be any because the police bungled Mike's case. I would like help to tell what I uncovered during my many years of fighting for justice for my son, Mike.

NEWS CENTER MAINE says "the police said they believe the cabin burned on Feb. 18, 1981." I would like to take the Maine State Police back to Feb. 18, 1981, 41 years ago and refresh their memory of what occurred on that date and the many people involved.
But first I want to say that I received a letter on Sept. 5, 2006 (sixteen years ago) from Deputy Attorney General William Stokes telling me that Mike's murder could not be prosecuted and why.  He wrote “Detective Coleman [a new and honest detective assigned Mike's murder case in 2002] has done outstanding work on this case but there remains tremendous difficulties with prosecuting this case particularly in view of the fact that the ‘homicide scene’ was not treated as such until a significant period of time after your son’s death, potentially jeopardizing important evidence in the meantime.”
     Twenty-five-years after Mike's murder the state's top homicide prosecutor admitted that Maine State Police had bungled Mike's murder investigation from the beginning.
     Now, the Maine State Police are  "asking anyone with information about Cochran's murder to call" them.  What would they do with the information since the Maine Attorney General's Office has said that the case cannot be prosecuted? 

When the fire department officials arrived on the arson/murder scene the day Mike was found they took notes. Note #1 states "1200 hr - 2-24-81 - roped off - Fire scene awaiting D.A. and 952 (CID III) to follow up investigation relative to this being a homicide." I believe this note disputes Deputy AG Stokes information that "the 'homicide scene' was not treated as such until a significant period of time after your son's death."

I believe the murder investigation of my son, Mike, was bungled starting on the morning he was found under a six-day-old pile of fire rubble.  February 18, 1981, a cottage where Mike was staying was set on fire by an arsonist. A man by the name of Paul Pollard was staying in the cottage with Mike and was seen fleeing into the woods away from the arson-murder scene when fire chief arrived.
      Forty-two-year veteran Fire Inspector Wilbur Ricker found Mike's body on the morning of February 24. He later testified that his years of experience with burned bodies told him that "something was added to the body to cause that amount of damage, more than the building."  A Feb. 27, 1981 lab report states that "the blood contained a carbon monoxide level of 46% of saturation." The Maine State Police were notified.  When Det. Shuman arrived on the murder scene he said "there was no need for the crime lab to respond."  I believe this was the beginning of the cover-up.

The Maine State Police had a "Crime Laboratory [that] served Maine since 1926. Our services are offered to all law enforcement agencies operating within the borders of Maine. The Crime Laboratory employs some of the most state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation available to the scientific community?" 

     Why was Shuman's order of "no need for the crime lab to respond" allowed to stand when Maine had "some of the most state-of-the-art equipment to test the tissues for gasoline?

Feb. 25, 1981, the day after Mike was found Shuman visited Mike's father at his work place requesting dental records. He never came back. An autopsy was also done on the 25th by Maine Deputy Chief Ronald Roy at 10:40 am. 
     One of Derald's coworkers also worked part-time at a local funeral home. He offered to help us. He told Derald that the body had been identified as Mike (the body hadn’t actually been identified at that time, but we didn’t know it) and that he was informed that the fire was an accident and Mike just didn’t make it out. Mike was in the wrong place at the wrong time. We believed what we were told. Charles Thomas made arrangements to have Mike's body transported to Clark & Mitchell Funeral Home where he worked. He suggested a cremation since Mike's body was burned beyond recognition. We took his advise not knowing Mike was murdered.
    Later, I received Mike's death certificate. It states that Mike was "trapped in house fire" verifying what we were told. So, we were in the dark when it was suggested to us that a cremation was best.  We didn't know that the tissues or blood had not been tested for gasoline. We didn't know that Mike's jaw bones had been kept at the medical examiner's office for "further dental identification" (returned to Mike's family 21 years later) We didn't know that on February 26, 1981 a medical examiner signed a permit  stating "no further examination or judicial inquiry concerning this death is necessary. Permission is hereby granted to cremate the dead body of the person named hereon." Could this also have helped jeopardize important evidence? We didn't know that a medical examiner stated in his autopsy report that a scar was found on Mike's chest and that it was part of the identification of Mike.  Chief Medical Examiner Henry Ryan referred to the scar in a letter I received from him in 1981 saying the scar was "very strong corroborating evidence for identification."  Dr. Ryan wrote to AG LaRochelle in 1988 and again referred to the scar as part of their identification of Mike.
     Mike's scar was on his neck from an biopsy and January 1977 hospital records prove this. It states “With the patient under general anesthesia the skin of the neck was prepared and suitable drapes were applied. A transverse (cross ways) incision was made just above the suprasternal notch.”  Photo of Mike showing scar on his neck. While we were being told Mike's death was an accident  lab reports state arson-murder.

Mike's family was not aware in 1984 that the state had decided Mike's accidental death was arson-murder. December 6, 1984, we read in our local newspaper that three men had been indicted for Mike's murder. March 1985, three months later, the state's only witness withdrew her testimony and said Det. Shuman fed her the story and she feared him. June 1985, the state was forced to dismiss the indictments. 
    July of 1986, I met the three men when I attended a trial for Richard Sargent in Bangor. Richard was one of the three men arrested for Mike's murder. The state was now prosecuting Richard for armed robberies along with Pollard's half-brother, Lionel Cormier. I talked with the men during breaks in the trial. They told me that Shuman tried to frame them for Mike's murder. They offered me their discovery.
    Their discovery included many documents and a wealth of information. Included was Fire Inspector Wilbur Ricker and MSP Allen Jamison's 1981 fire marshal reports;  Det. Shuman's 1981 homicide investigation report with statements and Det. Ralph Pinkham's 1981 homicide investigation report with statements and many other reports, autopsy, death certificate, and  lab reports. There was also a statement Shuman had taken from Pollard (in Shuman's words) in Massachusetts in Feb. 12, 1985. There was also documents from when the three men were arrested and indicted in 1984. None of the people who were with Mike the night he was murdered were mentioned in 1984, not even Ricker or Jamison. 
     The men's documents answered many questions I couldn't get answers to for 5 years. And showed how the Maine State Police had lied to me.
    I also attended Lionel Cormier's trial in August. The only witness the state had against Sargent and Cormier was Pollard who was involved in the armed robberies and given complete immunity.
     I heard Pollard testify that he had a .357 pistol on him the morning he ran from the murder scene and that he had another firearm charge against him. He also said he fled the state after Mike's murder. I heard Pollard's attorney testify that he helped Pollard dispose of shotguns, rifles and dynamite stolen during burglaries. Shuman was allowed to testify to Pollard's credible character but committed perjury. One year later, Cormier's attorney argued the case before the Supreme Court but the appeal was denied.
     After Cormier's trial was over I started searching for information on Pollard. I found some serious crimes Paul Pollard had committed and information on how the crimes were expunged by DA David Cox and also listened to Det. Shuman commit perjury to try cover for Pollard's crimes, which included:  Forgery - Feb. 5, 1979 - arrested on Feb. 24, 1981 -$250 fine.  Armed robbery, Nov. 26, 1980 - immunity. Jan. 23, 1981, Reckless conduct (firing 5 bullets in to a family residence as he drove by).. Pollard was indicted but DA David Cox with help from AG Pat Perrino the indictment was dismissed.  Mike's murder - Feb. 18, 1981 - immunity- Shuman testified that he had to "talk with the District Attorney "before any type of bargain was made" for Pollard to be "free from prosecution in the murder." Armed robbery - March 27 1981 - immunity - one month after Mike's murder. (Pollard testified in August of 1986 that he had a Smith & Wesson .357 gun on him during the armed robberies and that he had the gun on him when he fled the murder scene.) I found the  documents concerning the rifles, shotguns and dynamite stolen during burglaries that Pollard attorney had testified to in August. Jan. 28, 1982, Pollard transported the cache of guns and dynamite out of Boston, Mass, across the State of New Hampshire and 178 miles across Maine before reaching the Bangor Police Department. With help from his attorney and approval from DA David Cox the Bangor Police carried it all into the Bangor PD. The report lists Pollard as an "unnamed client." No charges were filed. 
     By 1989 I had accumulating a lot of information especially information against Paul Pollard. He was with Mike the night he was murdered and seen fleeing into the woods away from the murder scene. I borrowed $30,000 against my home to hire an attorney (Michael Popkin) to file suit against Pollard. The case was filed in US District Court for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. March 14, 1990, Pollard's attorney wanted the case dismissed or for summary judgment. March 22, 1990, Popkin responded stating that gas poured on Mike was the cause of my Emotional Distress. The case was not dismissed.
      March 23, 1990, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner (DCME) Ronald Roy’s deposition testimony was taken at my attorney's law firm. His deposition was transcribed and video recorded. We had less than two months to trial when DCME Roy was deposed. But shortly after Dr. Roy’s deposition he left the United States and went to Canada leaving us with only his video for trial.
     We went to trial on May 11, 1990. It never entered my mind when I brought suit against Pollard that the Maine State Police and the Attorney General's Office would get involved in my lawsuit and continue their cover-up of Paul Pollard. The Attorney General's Office hired my attorney and on April 30, 1990, eleven days before trial, my attorney  walked out on me. And to top it all off Maine State Police Detectives Shuman and Pinkham wanted to testify for Pollard. Attorney Jed Davis (new attorney on the case)  submitted a motion to the court asking that Shuman and Pinkham not be witnesses for Pollard.  But Shuman was allowed to testify for Paul Pollard and I don’t have any record of why that happened other than believing the judge must have allowed it. Needless to say I lost my lawsuit against Paul Pollard. The Bangor Daily News reported the one day trial.
     After my lawsuit was over, I drove the 80 miles to August and asked for my file. I was told Attorney Davis was on vacation and I would have to wait until he returned. I demanded my file and it was given to me. I carried two large boxes to my car. When I got home I found letters Popkin had sent to the court, and to Pollard's attorney.
    One letter showed that two weeks after Roy's deposition, and without consulting me, my attorney sent a letter to Pollard's attorney saying he was redacting nearly all Roy's testimony (All the testimony that made Roy look incompetent). I have Roy's complete deposition testimony, the part Popkin redacted and the jury didn't hear and the parts of Roy's testimony that Popkin chose for the jury to hear. All the jury heard was a video with only a sliver of Dr. Roy’s deposition testimony with Roy saying there was no trauma to Mike’s body. In another letter Popkin wrote to Pollard's attorney he said that he was not going to use Fire Inspector Wilbur Ricker's opinion that gas was poured on Mike. This was wiping out my Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claim.
     One day while talking on the phone with Popkin he said that he was not going to use Ricker's opinion that gas was poured on Mike. I was very upset (He didn't mention that he was altering Roy's deposition testimony) and we had a heated argument before we hung up. I was crying when I called the owner of the firm. He assured me that it would be included in court testimony, but it wasn't.
      I still have the transcribed depositions along with videos of Fire Inspector Wilbur Ricker, Fire Chief Norman Herrin and Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Ronald Roy's deposition testimony that was taken in preparation for trial. Ricker's deposition disputes Paul Pollard's March 3, 1980 and February 12, 1985 statements of waking and finding the cottage on fire and fleeing because he was afraid. His testimony also disputes Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Ronald Roy's description of how injury occurred as "Trapped in house fire."  Ricker testified the glass in the door was broken out to allow someone access to the cottage and that broken glass was under Mike's body. Ricker said gas was poured on Mike.