Bar Harbor woman was strangled, according to court documents

ELLSWORTH — Mikaela Conley, the 19-year-old Bar Harbor woman who was found murdered June 2, died of blunt force trauma and strangulation, according to court records.

The Maine State Police arrested Jalique Keene, 21, of Bar Harbor on a charge of murder on June 4.

“Your affiant has probable cause to believe that Jalique Keene has committed the crime of murder,” wrote Maine State Police Det. Tom Pickering in an affidavit supporting probable cause.

The affidavit, which had been sealed, was released Friday.

State Medical Examiner Dr. Margaret Greenwald conducted Conley’s autopsy.

Greenwald told Pickering that she found evidence of “blunt force trauma to the head and face and strangulation.”

Police have been reviewing surveillance footage from security cameras at Conners Emerson School. Police found Conley’s body in a wooded area between the school and the intersection of Eden Street and West Street in Bar Harbor.

“The footage quality was poor, due to low light conditions and cobwebs in front of the lens partially obstructing the view,” Pickering stated in the affidavit.  “It resembled night vision photography. Nevertheless, I was able to observe a person appearing to be Mikaela come into view and be seated on the ground in an area that would have been very dark.”

“I then observed at 3:36 a.m. a male appearing to be Jalique appear at her side and after some sort of interaction, he is seen picking her up over his shoulder and walking off with her as she is kicking with her feet,” Pickering stated.

In footage from the same camera, Keene reappears around 7 a.m., dragging an apparently lifeless body toward the area where the body was later found, according to the affidavit.

The video contradicts an assertion Keene made to police that he left Conley on the school grounds at 3:30 a.m. and never saw her again, the detective said.

School officials found a cell phone on the school grounds Friday morning believed to be Conley’s. They returned it to her mother.

“A video was identified that was uploaded to Snapchat on June 1 at 2:19 a.m. from Mikaela’s phone,” Pickering stated. “A male named Jalique Keene was identified in the video … the video showed an area believed to be the playground” at the school.

Until recently, Keene had been playing football for a team in Serbia. Conley left the afternoon of May 31 to pick up Keene and another person at the airport in Boston, the affidavit states.

Keene is being held without bail at Hancock County Jail. He is due back in court July 19 for a dispositional or case status hearing.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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