CARIBOU — On the evening of Sept. 24, 2015, the Caribou Fire Department responded to a residential building fire on lower Lyndon Street.
In the fire debris, the body of Kenneth Zernicke was found and the medical examiner determined his death was a homicide.
“I lost my dad. I never got a chance to say goodbye to him. He was a good man. He didn’t deserve this,” his daughter, Jess Zernicke Holmes, said.
Her dad got home from driving a truck for Irving Farms in Caribou sometime after 5 p.m.
Shortly after that, the fire was reported and his body was discovered at around 10 p.m.
“I went through about a five-hour spell of not accepting it happened. And after that, it was I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest,” Holmes said.
Zernicke was a 1975 Caribou High School graduate and a Micmac tribal member.
Because of the ongoing Maine State Police investigation, the cause of Zernicke’s death is being withheld.
“The neighbors heard loud shots, there’s no confirmation but it’s speculated that he was shot,” His daughter said.
Ken Zernicke would have turned 63 on Thursday.
Closure for the family is what Holmes wants.
“I just want people to talk. It’s a small town, just over 7,000 people population. Somebody knows. He was part of the Micmac community, he was an elder. He was a very loved person. He was a very known person,” she said. “I just want to put my dad to rest.”
Zernicke’s home is located near a busy four-way intersection and detectives have always hoped someone saw something that would help with the investigation.
“I fully believe that someday, like, we’ll figure this out. I do. I can feel it,” Holmes said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Maine State Police.