It took over 10 years for remains found in the woods of Stacyville, Maine to finally be identified. Thanks to a true crime podcast, a listener who trusted her gut, and DNA testing, Mr. Christopher Roof had his identity back.
With a name and a face to a man previously known as the Stacyville John Doe, one Maine reporter was tasked with learning more about Christopher Roof. It started with a survey of property records in Concord, Massachusetts, but Alex MacDougall’s took him far beyond New England to another undetermined death in the same family decades earlier and over 3000 miles away
If you haven’t already, go back one episode to hear the story of Christopher Roof, previously known as the Stacyville John Doe, because in this episode, we’re taking a look at the connection Alex MacDougall uncovered and the curious life of Christopher Roof’s mother, Marcia Moore.
Alex MacDougall Connects Marcia Moore
The positive ID of Christopher Roof in Stacyville, Maine in mid-September 2021 came at a particularly busy time for crime headlines both locally and nationally. We were coming off of the media blitz surrounding the Gabby Petito case and were still watching and waiting as Dog the Bounty Hunter searched for her former fiance, Brian Laundrie. The remains of Anneliese Heinig were discovered in Falmouth after nearly two years of searching. Two separate discoveries of human remains at landfills in New Hampshire and Maine were keeping state detectives busy.
The Maine State Police announced via a short press release the news about Christopher Roof. The cause of death was listed as undetermined, and that was really it for details.
The story landed on the desk of Houlton Pioneer Times journalist, Alex MacDougall. He was tasked with learning more about the man who finally had his identity back.
Alex moved to Houlton just weeks before the world shut down as the result of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March of 2020. Writing for the Houlton Pioneer times, as well as the Bangor Daily News as the southern Aroostook County correspondent, was his first position out of graduate school. Previously, Alex lived in greater Boston for nearly all of his adult life. The County was different, to say the least.
While his typical assignments consisted of covering the Canadian-American border closures that impacted residents of Maine border towns like Houlton, this story was different. As he started digging, it only became more incredible.
“I had started in just kind of Googling and I stumbled upon some sites talking about Marcia Moore, I’m like, this can’t be the same person. This looks ridiculous,” Alex told me. “But I was able to confirm that it was, in fact, the mother of Christopher Roof and it was the very same Christopher Roof whose body was found in Stacyville.”
Marcia Moore (Mar-see-ah, as some sources pronounce her first name) disappeared from her home outside of Seattle, Washington one winter night in 1979. Two years would pass before any trace of Marcia Moore was ever found.
Episode Source Material
Thank you to Alex MacDougall for sharing this story with me.
- Unidentified body found in Stacyville by Jen Lynds, Bangor Daily News, 06 Nov 2010
- Police release more details on body found in Stacyville by Jen Lynds, Bangor Daily News, 8 Nov 2010, page 2
- Police work to ID body from woods by Jen Lynds, Bangor Daily News, 09 Nov 2010
- Work continues to ID Stacyville body by Jen Lynds, Bangor Daily News, 01 Dec 2010
- Discovery of decomposed body in Stacyville remains mystery after more than a year by Jen Lynds, 21 Jan 2012
- Remains of body found in 2010 identified by Leela Stockley, Bangor Daily News, 20 Sep 2021
- Man whose remains were found in northern Maine isn’t the 1st member of his family to die mysteriously by Alex MacDougall, 22 Sep 2021
- Missing author’s skull discovered in Bothell, Spokane Chronicle, 25 Mar 1981
- Death case baffling, The Spokesman-Review, 03 Apr 1981
- Psychic’s disappearance mystifies authorities, The Spokesman-Review, 21 Jan 1979
- Having a new life, wish you were here by Eve Rockett, Maclean’s, 02 April 1979
- If the dead could speak by Eve Rockett, Macleans, 08 June 1981
- MARCIA S. MOORE COLLECTION, 1948-1999, Concord Library
- CHRISTOPHER ROOF PAPERS, 1967-2007, Concord Library