Something just seemed off in the apartment of Samantha Folsom. The TV was on full blast. The windows were open in the bitter cold. And when her parents opened a downstairs closet door their world suddenly changed forever.

Joline Turner doesn't get a lot of sleep these days, haunted by what she sees when she closes her eyes.

"Every night when I go to bed it plays over and over again like a movie, so I'll stay up at three days at a time just to avoid it," Joline tells Crime Watch Daily.

A daughter lost, and what the mother found.

What really took place the night Samantha Folsom suddenly disappeared, and why the horror that happened after?


From the day their daughter was born, Samantha Turner's parents were the very epitome of proud.

It wasn't just that she was fun to be around. Jon and Joline Turner say it was also the choices their daughter made, the kind that build character.

"She was a wonderful child, never in any type of trouble whatsoever," said Joline. "She was also a protector of the underdog."

Both a champion and a cheerleader, Samantha's parents say she could've been anything -- but that some time after high school, their daughter got off track. They say it started around the time she met a man named Jesse Folsom, a man Samantha's mom had a hard time welcoming into their lives.

"It's just what you call a mother's instinct. I knew that he was not right for her," said Joline.

And she says mother's instinct became intuition confirmed when she started noticing dark bruises on her daughter's arms.

"I asked her one day, 'Why are you wearing long sleeves in the middle of summer?' And I lifted up her shirt and found the marks," said Joline.

She suspected the marks were coming from Jesse, and Joline says when she confronted them both about the alleged abuse, neither denied it. But Sam's family also says that after a lot of work and time, things actually seemed to improve.

"I did the best I could with Jesse. I worked three, four nights a week getting him his G.E.D.," said Samantha's father Jon David Turner.

And then Jon helped Jesse start a career in the Army.

"And they were going to start a new life, and I had his word at the time that he was going to protect her," said Joline. "They got married and moved to California. Her husband was stationed in the Army."

But after that, Samantha's parents say, it was more than just her last name that changed.

"When they came back to visit, we could see there was a difference. She wasn't the same person," said Jon Turner. "She was tired and she was introverted."

Samantha's mom suspected drugs -- and once again, her instincts were dead on. Samantha eventually confesses that she developed an addiction in California, and that even though she tried to shake it, she just couldn't.

Then, during another visit home, a revelation that would force Samantha to fight her demons harder than ever: Samantha is suddenly hit by a severe pain in her side. Her mom fears appendicitis and rushes her to the emergency room, where doctors do an ultrasound of her abdomen.

"When they did the ultrasound she found out she was pregnant," Joline tells Crime Watch Daily.

It was a surprise, a happy one, and several months later she gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy. Her parents say she was determined to keep it that way. After years of alleged dysfunction, Sam and Jesse split up. She moved back to Maine, got her own apartment close to her parents' place, and decided to make one more very big change.

"She wanted to go to rehab," said Jon Turner. "She decided she wanted to change for her son, and that was the turning point in her life."

Her son was staying with another family member when she told her parents she was ready to get help.

"She was going to come to our house and we were going to take her to rehab the next morning," said Jon. "Well, the next day when she just wasn't there. Six o'clock came, 7 o'clock. Nothing."

The Turners made several calls to their daughter, each one more frantic than the last. But all went unanswered. And when they knocked on her apartment door, that went unanswered too.

"I went to the housing place and I asked them to let me in because I wanted to do a welfare check, and they said 'No, you're not on the lease,'" said Jon.

After that, Samantha's parents filed a missing-person report. But they say there was little done, and for the next three days they went back and forth between police and Samantha's apartment manager, trying to get someone to listen.

"Finally, I went to the housing place again and said 'Look, she's got a cat in there that hasn't ate in days,'" said Jon. "So they worked with me. They sent a maintenance man out and he opened it up."

Right away, they say, everything felt wrong.

"It was November. All the fans were on, windows were open, television was full blast," said Jon.

"When I first walked in, my focus was more or less finding the cat, and I knew the cat-carrier was in the closet," said Joline.

"I went outside because it was just kind of musty and she yells 'Jon, quick, come here,' and she opened the closet door and that's where, that's where our life changed," said Jon.

What they found next still haunts them to this day.

Novembers in the state of Maine can be bitterly cold, which is why Jon and Joline Turner had such a sinking feeling when they walked into their daughter's apartment that chilly autumn day, and found all the windows wide open.

"And there was a fan that she had that was blowing air out of the apartment in the middle of November," said Joline.

On November 9, 2011, it had been three days since Samantha Folsom's parents reported her missing.

"And so I opened the closet door where the cat-carrier was, and there she was," said Joline.

"There she was," said Jon.

It was their daughter, Samantha Folsom, 26, murdered and stuffed into the closet.

"When I saw, it was like almost I felt like her soul had gone through me and it threw me back six feet against the wall," said Joline. "Thank God for one thing, that her head was down and I didn't see her face, but still the memory of that haunts me."

State police immediately take over the investigation, and though Samantha's exact cause of death is not immediately revealed, there's no secret who might've wanted Sam dead: her estranged husband and the father of her child, Jesse Folsom.

According to Samantha's mom, Jesse had abused her daughter in the past, and her death did come not long after the couple split up. Also, it was reported that Sam had already found a new boyfriend -- all reasons Jesse might have been enraged.

But there was one little problem with that lead.

"Jesse was in jail," said Jon Turner.

"He was in jail for assaulting Sam's boyfriend, who she had after they split up," said former newspaper reporter Scott Dolan.

But maybe Jesse wasn't the only one with motive. What about that new boyfriend? Apparently Sam had recently broken it off with him, as well, and according to her mom, it's because he too was abusive. Problem is, that was also his alibi.

"The boyfriend was in jail for assaulting her. Jesse was in jail for assault of the boyfriend," said Joline.

Two seemingly prime persons of interest, cleared by other crimes. And after that, it appeared there weren't many other places to look.

"People were baffled," said Scott Dolan. "Sam had her problems, she had an addiction, but everyone described her as like a happy, joyous person. She had friends and she was focused on taking care of her son. She was trying to get clean and stay clean."

In fact, investigators appeared to have so little to go on, they didn't even classify Samantha's death as a murder.

"Initially, after Sam's death they said it was undetermined," said Dolan. "It was a year later that the state police issued a statement saying that it had been declared a homicide. I talked to a spokesman for the state police, and he said that it had been a homicide all along, they just didn't announce it.

"To me that means that they had a lead and that they couldn't get to the end of that lead, so at that point they're hopeful that something else would push the case a little bit closer," said Dolan.

And Dolan says that's where he came in.

"I was working at the Portland Press Herald as a reporter, and I looked back to see what reporting had been done on her death, and there was very little writing, so I decided to go investigate, interview a lot of people and find any leads I could find," said Dolan.

First he talked to police, but they could only say so much.

"The head detective at the time, he told me that they had leads and they were closing in, but it was still an open investigation," said Dolan.

Then Dolan talked to Samantha's neighbors, and that's where he says he learned a lot more about that open investigation.

"I think the most important interview I did of a neighbor, she lived right next door to Sam, and she's the one who told me detectives came to her door and they showed her a picture of this person, and they asked her to if they recognized this person," said Dolan.

Scott Dolan says the picture was of a man with a dark complexion who was wearing a shirt and tie, and some sort of badge.

"And that was the only person they asked her about," said Dolan.

Dolan says the neighbor also told police about a conversation she had with Samantha not long before she was killed.

"They said that someone had come to Sam's door, either the day before or day of, knocking and calling for her, said that Sam was terrified of whoever was knocking on her door," said Dolan.

Was that person the same man in the picture being circulated by police? And why would he come knocking in the first place?

"From what I gathered, Sam was in the drug world, she was trying to get clear of it, I think it was probably someone from her past or some acquaintance who was drawing her back in," said Dolan.

Crime Watch Daily reached out to the Maine State Police for comment, and while they declined to give any official statements on camera, they were present during our investigation, and confirm that even after six years, this case is still very much open and active.

"If people have information or knowledge they still should contact the Maine State Police, they're the lead investigators. If there's any closure to be brought to this homicide investigation, they're the ones that are going to bring it," said Dolan.

Though what exactly closure will mean at this point is hard to say. In the years since their daughter's death, life for Jon and Joline no longer resembles what it once was.

"After that the whole thing went to hell. Just, the bottom dropped off," said Jon. "Our family life, the dynamics is completely screwed up. Joline and I had been married for 35 years and now we've been divorced for two."

"It split her parents apart," said Scott Dolan. "They were a close-knit family, they were a strong family, but the grief, it was too much. It was too much and I think it haunts Joline and Jon."

"The night time is the worst, because I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from finding her in the condition she was in," said Joline. "At her funeral I was her pall-bearer and I was the one who pushed her coffin into the storage room because I didn't want to leave her. It was all we had left."

And yet, as hard as it's been, through all the pain and uncertainty, there are a few things Joline says she knows for sure -- simple truths that help ease the nightmares.

"At the end of it all, I know two places where she is: down the road at St. Peter's cemetery, and in Heaven," said Joline.

If you know anything about the murder of Samantha Folsom, contact Maine State Police at (207) 657-3030, or submit a tip to Crime Watch Daily.

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