Amy St. Laurent: Missing in the Old Port

Search airplanes circled overhead as more than 80 officers from the Maine State Police and local departments paired with search dogs surveyed the wooded land off Route 22 in Scarborough, Maine. It had been nearly two months since 25-year old Amy St. Laurent left her home in South Berwick for a night out in the Old Port with her new friend from Florida.

But after pool at Fore Play Sports Bar and dancing at the Pavilion, an unsuspecting predator lured Amy into his dangerous presence.

Amy never showed up for work the next week. She never returned home to feed her cat. Amy’s mother reported her missing on October 21, 2001. 

Her friends and family distributed missing posters around the Old Port, hoping someone saw something that would lead them to Amy. Although each day eroded their hope, they clung to the idea that their daughter, their sister, their friend Amy, would be found alive.

But the weekend of December 8, 2001, after months of searching and a focused investigation in the Scarborough woods, investigators came upon a shallow grave just 150 yards from the road. And buried beneath the dirt, still wearing the outfit she picked for her Old Port night out, was Amy St. Laurent.

I wanted to tell Amy St. Laurent’s story for a few reasons. First, and most importantly, her story matters. No matter how many years have passed since her life was stolen, Amy’s memory deserves to be kept alive.

And second, the details of this case gave me a chilling sense of familiarity. When we’re not in the era of COVID, I love a good night out in the Old Port. In my early 20s, I was known to really enjoy myself with my friends in the Old Port, all with this naive sense of safety. It’s my neighborhood, it’s my downtown, I knew and still know all the spots, the good, the divey or the just plain bad… But nothing bad can happen to me when I’m in my own environment, right? 

What I’m learning more and more is that these familiar places, where the unsuspected evil few mingle with the good and innocent, they can have a dark side… And awareness is the best way to shine a light and expose what, and who, hides in the dark.

This is the case of Amy St. Laurent: Missing in the Old Port.