Her Parents Found Her Dead, Curled Up on the Floor of the Closet
A killer got away with murdering Samantha Folsom and tried to conceal the crime scene
A quaint apartment in Lewiston, Maine, still holds secrets that remain unrevealed to this day. Samantha Folsom’s death was ruled “undetermined” despite her body being found stuffed in a closet and her apartment set up to destroy forensic evidence. A year after she was found by her parents, the police classified her death as a homicide but her official cause of death has never been released to the public.
Samantha Folsom was a wonderful daughter, student, and mother. In high school, she was captain of the junior varsity cheerleaders, a swimmer, a soccer player, and above all else, loved spending time with Jonathan, her older brother. When he attended Boy Scout events, Sam would insist on going with him. She had a strong love for animals, owned many cats, and was always an advocate for the underdog.
Sam was the light of her parents’ life.
Difficulties in her life began when she met her soon-to-be husband, Jesse Folsom. Samantha’s mother, Joline Turner, had a bad feeling about him from the start. Joline became concerned that Sam was a victim of domestic violence when she started noticing bruising on her daughter’s arms. She suspected Jesse was responsible, but Sam denied any abuse going on in their relationship.
In spite of their suspicions, Samantha’s parents tried their best to accept the man their daughter loved into the family. They began searching for ways to help Jesse improve the path he was on in life, and in turn, improving hers. Sam’s father, Jon David Turner, spent evenings working with Jesse to earn his G.E.D. and get recruited into the Army. Following their marriage on the 29th of December, 2005, Sam and Jesse moved to California where he was to be stationed.
That’s when Samantha’s demeanor seemed to change. Her mother noticed that she was always tired and started participating less in the activities she once enjoyed. Joline’s instincts told her that Jesse and Sam may be involved in drugs and her daughter eventually confessed to this. Even though Sam was trying her best to quit, it was a struggle for her.
During a visit to her parents in Maine, Samantha started experiencing immense pain in her abdomen. She was immediately taken to the hospital where an ultrasound revealed that she was pregnant. Samantha and Jesse were both excited to have a baby on the way!
In June of 2008, Sam gave birth to a beautiful baby boy they named Darren. Unfortunately, the bliss of family life soon wore off. Jesse wanted to move back to Maine and, although she went with him, Sam was not happy about the decision as she preferred living in California. The couple returned to Maine where Sam got her own apartment as their major marital issues were only growing. She and Jesse agreed to split up.
Once she was settled, Sam told her parents she wanted to go to rehab and clean up her life for her son. Her addiction was too much for her to quit on her own and she knew she needed help. Her parents took custody of Darren in order to give Sam time to work on herself. Her hope was to go to rehab with the long-term goal of gaining custody of her son once again.
On November 6, 2011, Samantha placed Darren in the care of a close relative and agreed to let her parents take her to rehab the next day.
She never showed up.
Samantha stopped answering phone calls. When they could not get ahold of her on the phone, Jon and Joline rushed to her apartment, only to be met with a locked door and no answer when they knocked. Jon asked the apartment manager to let them in to do a welfare check on their daughter, but they were denied entry as they were not listed on the lease. Her parents then filed a missing person’s report with the police department and waited helplessly to hear anything from Sam.
After three excruciatingly long days, they begged the apartment manager to let them into Sam’s place so they could at least feed her cat who had not eaten in recent days.
When they entered, the apartment was bitterly cold. Something was off.
Although it was a chilly November in Maine, Samantha’s parents found several fans running and the windows in her apartment were wide open. The TV was also on and the volume was all the way up.
Something was off.
Joline diverted her attention from the odd atmosphere to the wellbeing of Sam’s cat. Knowing that the cat carrier was usually stored in the closet, she opened the door to retrieve it, never expecting to find her daughter’s lifeless body curled up on the floor.
November 9, 2011, altered the Turner’s lives forever. Mere days after being reported missing, Samantha Folsom, 26, was found dead and cold, concealed in the closet of her own apartment. An investigation was swiftly launched into who had killed her. It was obvious that she had been murdered, although her cause of death was not immediately known. Police initially suspected Jesse, her estranged husband. It hadn’t been long since they split up and Sam had started dating someone new.
Could Jesse have murdered Sam in a jealous rage?
This was impossible, however, as he was in jail at the time of the murder for assaulting Sam’s new boyfriend. Investigators turned their attention to Sam’s newest love interest. They had broken up shortly before her death, but Joline believed this guy had been abusive to her daughter during their relationship.
Did Sam’s ex-boyfriend have a motive for killing her?
Police ruled him out as well when, he too, was found to be in jail at the time of her death and couldn't have possibly been the killer. It is unclear if there are any additional suspects in this case as the investigation into Sam’s death is still considered ongoing and many details are being withheld.
A reporter for the Portland Press Herald, Scott Dolan, interviewed the neighbor living next door to Samantha. The neighbor told him that detectives had shown her a picture of a well-dressed man with a darker skin tone and wearing what looked like an ID badge. They asked her if she recognized who he was. She also told Dolan that someone had been knocking on Sam’s door just a few days before her murder and Sam seemed terrified of them. This person has never been identified.
Samantha’s parents divorced after the stress and grief were too much for their marriage to withstand. They are still on good terms and share a sense of hope that one day their daughter’s killer will be caught and brought to justice.
Samantha’s case is at risk of going cold. If you have any information on the murder of Samantha Folsom, please contact the Maine State Police at (207) 657–3030.