Dad Arrested 38 Years After He Said Son Died From SIDS

Burton Hagar's son was found unresponsive on May 9, 1979.

A Maine man who told detectives that his baby son had died from SIDS in 1979 has been arrested in the baby's death.

Burton Hagar's son was found unresponsive in early May of that year, after which the case remained closed until it was reopened in 1991.

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More than a quarter century after that, the 62-year-old was arrested Friday and charged with killing 4-month-old Nathan Hagar.

Nathan's death was Maine's oldest cold case. The father's arrest is now the oldest unsolved homicide case where state police have brought charges.

The oldest up until now was the arrest of a man in 2012 for an Augusta homicide that took place in 1976, 36 years earlier.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said in a statement Friday that detectives gathered new information in the last year about the death and coordinated the investigation with their new Unsolved Homicide Unit.

That investigation led the Attorney General’s Office to present the case to the grand jury last week. 

The chief of the state police praised the unti for helping to bring charges in its very first case.  

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"There are more than 100 Maine unsolved homicides and the new unit is reviewing each case," Colonel Robert Williams said. "The hard work of this dedicated group from state police and the attorney general’s office have brought this first unsolved homicide to this point, and there will be other success stories as their work continues." 

Hagar is being held at the Franklin County Jail. His first appearance in Cumberland County Court is scheduled for Wednesday.

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