Dear Mr. LaRochelle:

My name is Leola Cochran. I am the mother of Micheal Cochran, a victim of arson/murder, Feb. 18, 1981, in Dedham, Maine.
     July 1981, I wrote Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta for the autopsy report, which I received [I was so ignorant to all this that I thought at that time that the letter I got from Dr. Ryan describing the condition of Mike’s body was an autopsy report.] and in closing stated that if I had any further questions to please contact us. I have had no further questions until now. I called the office and talked to someone there. I was told any further questions I have now will have to go through the Attorney General’s Office and was given your name.
     Other evidence has come to light on [Mike’s] murder leading us to believe he was shot before the fire. In a 1981 letter I received from Dr. Ryan, he stated that portions of the head were missing and also that the state of the remains being what they were the possibility of other injuries is a difficult matter. My question is: Could it be possible that the back of [Mike’s] head was missing before the fire because of a gunshot wound? If not please explain to me why this could not have happened. I would like a letter from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office answering this question for me.
Deputy AG LaRochelle did not respond to my letter. I contacted Dr. Ryan again making him aware of this. Dr. Ryan wrote me a letter and included a copy of a letter he had sent to Maine Attorney General Deputy AG LaRochelle.

Dr. Ryan’s letter:
September 10, 1986

Dear Mrs. Cochran,

Ordinarily we do not consider exchanges between this office and the Attorney General as open records and could not comply with your request for a copy of the letter we sent to Mr. LaRochelle at the time of your recent inquiry, however, this is merely a matter of administrative business and we have made an exception since the issue concerns your request rather than the case itself. Enclosed is a copy of the letter.

Henry F. Ryan
Chief Medical Examiner
Dr. Ryan’s letter to Deputy AG LaRochelle:
August 27, 1986

Dear Fern,

Re: Micheal Cochran ML 81-178

I understand that Mrs. Leola Cochran wrote to you concerning this case and the possibility of a gunshot wound to the head. She called this office first and was referred to you. She now writes that she has not heard from you and is quite concerned regarding the speculation referred to above.
     Please advise on how we might proceed. The answer to her question, if you believe that we should answer it had best come from Dr. Roy. Please follow up with him.
     Enclosed are copies of previous correspondence with Mrs. Cochran and a copy of her current letter.

Henry F. Ryan
Chief Medical Examiner
Deputy AG Fern LaRochelle did not respond to Dr. Ryan’s letter. He completely ignored my request for an answer to whether my son could have been shot before the fire was set.
     In the meantime I learned that a another detective had been assigned Mike's case. I was happy to hear that, but shortly afterward  I was made aware that the detective was under the supervision of Shuman.  I felt that Mike's case under Shuman would go no where and on September 17, 1986, I wrote Maine State Police Captain Reynald LaMontagne letting him know how I felt about Det. Shuman supervising Mike’s murder investigation. Shuman had been the lead detective on Mike’s murder case for more than five years with nothing done about his murder. 
Dear Captain LaMontagne:

I believe assigning another detective to this case with Det. Shuman as the supervisor will not give us a fresh look at this case. We need to start again with someone not familiar with the case, or we are going to be on the same merry-go-around we have been on for nearly six years.
     Fire investigation report by [Fire Inspector] Wilber G. Ricker 2–18–81, line 25, states at first it was believed to be a dog. Sir, he was not a dog. He was my son. He deserves justice the same as anyone else. We would not leave a dog for six days under a burned pile of fire rubble.
     Perhaps this case is an embarrassment to Det. Shuman, but I will pursue this case until I finally get some results. I am obsessed with my son’s murder and the fact that his murderers are walking free.
     Maine State Police Captain LaMontagne never responded to my letter. He and Maine Deputy AG Fern LaRochelle completely ignored me. This was nothing new for me. It was the same treatment I received from the Maine State Police and the Maine Attorney General’s Office since Mike was murdered, nearly six years previous.
     After writing Captain LaMontagne, I again contacted Dr. Ryan to let him know that I hadn’t heard from Deputy AG LaRochelle. Dr. Ryan wrote LaRochelle again.
Micheal Cochran ML 81-178
Dear Fern,

Re: Micheal Cochran ML 81-178

Mrs. Cochran called this date and advised that she had not heard further from you regarding her inquiry. She asked that I send a reminder letter.
Maine Deputy AG LaRochelle did not respond. He ignored me as well as Dr. Ryan’s request (as far as I know) as to whether he should answer my question concerning the possibility that Mike had suffered a gunshot wound before the fire was set.
     It was now six years and five months since Mike’s brutal murder and the Maine State Police and the AG’s office continued to snub me. They would not respond to anything I asked about my son’s murder.