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Committee Backs Bill to Fund Cold Case Homicide Unit

By Alanna Durkin, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine legislative committee has unanimously endorsed a bill that would fund a special unit dedicated to investigating unsolved homicides.

The committee's vote Thursday was met with applause and cheers from family members of missing persons and murder victims who are urging the Legislature to help them find justice and closure by funding the unit.

Trista Reynolds, who joined other parents at the Statehouse Thursday, says she's still learning how to cope with the loss of her daughter, Ayla. The 20-month-old girl vanished in 2011 and is presumed dead. Reynolds said she hopes that by lending her voice to the effort, lawmakers will finally take action and support the unit this year.

The decision to fund it will ultimately lie with the budget-writing Appropriations Committee.