For several months in 2011, 26-year-old Samantha Folsom had been trying to get her life back on track. She was a young, single mother who had struggled with drug addiction. She was married to Jesse Folsom on 29 December, 2005, and shortly thereafter, the couple began dabbling in heroin; Samantha became addicted.
Samantha’s parents, Jon and Joline, had never really cared for Jesse. They believed that he was a bad influence on their daughter, and then Samantha began sporting bruising, they feared that she was the victim of domestic violence. As Joline recalled: “It’s just what you call a mother’s instinct. I knew that he was not right for her.”
Three years intro the marriage, Samantha gave birth to a little boy, and for a while, things seemed to improve. As Jon recalled: “I did the best I could with Jesse. I worked three, four nights a week getting him his G.E.D.” This ultimately led to Jesse being enrolled in the Army. However, despite the best efforts of both Samantha and her parents, the marriage wasn’t to last, and by the following year, Samantha and Jesse were separated, and Samantha was struggling to care for her son.
In early November of 2011, Samantha told her parents that she was going to go back to rehab, to try and kick her addiction once and for all. After all, Samantha had a young son that she needed to care for, and he was currently in the care of her parents. She wanted nothing more than to be able to provide for her son, and get him back so that they could be a family.
As Joline recalled: “She was supposed to go back in rehab the next day. She had said, ‘I’d been clean.’ She sounded really good, positive, like the old Sammy again trying to kick the habit so she could get her son back.” The old Sammy had grown up inseparable from her brother, Jonathan. In school, she shined as a cheerleader and made friends with ease. She was a massive animal lover as well, and she always looked out for those who were struggling to make friends in school, taking them under her wing. As Joline recalled: “She was a wonderful child, never in any type of trouble whatsoever. She was also a protector of the underdog.”1
Jon and Joline couldn’t wait for Samantha to get her life back on track, and they knew that rehab was the first step. Jon stated: “Sam was a good soul. She really was a good girl, but she was addicted to a really bad drug.”2 Those who knew Samantha the best described her as spontaneous and outgoing. She liked to have a good time and was adventurous.
But by the 9th of November, 2011, Samantha’s parents had become concerned after not being able to get in contact with her for three days. Jon and Joline had tried calling Samantha over and over again, but she never picked up. They flooded her voice mail with messages, but Samantha never called back. At first, they assumed she was in rehab, and staying away from her phone, but by day three, they were more than concerned for her welfare.
That afternoon, Jon and Joline decided they would go to Samantha’s apartment to check in on her. Joline recalled: “We had a really had feeling even before we left the house. I knew something was wrong.” While Jon and Joline had their suspicions, nothing could prepare them for what they would uncover inside Samantha’s apartment.
Upon arriving at Samantha’s third-floor apartment at the Oxford Street Apartments in Lewiston, Maine, Jon and Joline asked the maintenance man to unlock the door. They slowly opened the front door and called out Samantha’s name. They were met by silence. As they proceeded through the apartment, they noticed that the television set was turned on, as were the lights. It was a brisk winter afternoon, yet the windows were open and a window fan was switched on.
Jon and Joline continued in their search for Samantha. They walked up the stairs to find her cat, Gadget. She was hungry but otherwise completely fine. As they scanned room to room, Samantha was nowhere to be found, but something told Jon and Joline not to leave just yet. They began searching the closets, hoping to come across a clue that could lead them to their daughter.
They opened up a closet door by the front entryway downstairs, and recoiled in horror as their eyes transfixed to Samantha’s body. She was inside the closet, curled up in a fetal position with her face turned away. She was dead. Jon and Joline immediately called police who announced in the media that they were treating Samantha’s death as “unexplained.”3
While from the very beginning, investigators were suspicious of Samantha’s death, it wasn’t until the following year that her death was ruled a homicide.4 The case was subsequently taken over by Maine State Police.
Investigators spoke with all of Samantha’s neighbours, but none could recall hearing anything suspicious on the night that Samantha died. According to one neighbour, Crystal Murphy, investigators showed her a photograph of a man and asked if she had ever seen him. They didn’t provide a name but Crystal said that he was a well-dressed man, wearing a button-down shirt and tie. He was also wearing an identification badge around his neck.
Investigators needed to find a suspect, but they were stumped. Naturally, they turned to those closest to Samantha, zoning in on her estranged husband, Jesse. However, they quickly learned that Jesse was in jail at the time of Samantha’s murder. He was serving time for an attack on a man that Samantha had been dating.
However, according to Samantha’s Facebook, this new relationship had turned sour. On the 3rd of November, Samantha revealed that she had broken up with this man. She wrote: “Well surprise surprise. Wasn’t good enough for him… Huh… His loss??”5 Investigators theorised that this new boyfriend – who was never publicly identified – could have been a suspect. However, it was just another dead end when it was discovered that he too was in jail at the time of Samantha’s murder.
The murder of Samantha Folsom still remains unsolved today. If you know anything about this case, please contact the Maine State Police at (207) 657-3030.
- True Crime Daily, 15 December, 2017 – “Who Killed Samantha Folsom?”
- Portland Press Herald, 24 November, 2012 – “Who Killed Samantha?”
- Sun-Journal, 10 November, 2011 – “Body Found in City”
- Associated Press, 9 November, 2012 – “Woman’s Year Old Death Declared Homicide in Maine”
- Sun-Journal, 11 November, 2011 – “Police Pursue Clues in Death”