It’s been a little more than a year since Kevin Foley, an affable and well-known local man who attended every one of his son’s baseball games, was found murdered at the back of Woodlawn Cemetery on Stroudwater Street.

Neighbors and friends who knew him say they have stopped speculating about what might have happened to him, but some say they are surprised that nothing has been resolved a year after his death.

State Police Lt. Brian McDonough said the case remains open, and police are comfortable with the progress they’ve made on it. While he released no new details about the investigation this week, he said police believe they know what happened. They are now focused, he said, on proving it beyond a reasonable doubt.

“We’re still working on it,” McDonough said. “It’s very difficult to put a time frame on these kinds of cases.”

Foley, who lived in the North Deering neighborhood of Portland, was found the morning of June 22, 2007, next to his car at the back of Woodlawn Cemetery dead from a gunshot wound. Police quickly classified the death as suspicious, and shortly after declared it a homicide.

Foley, 58, was a well respected and widely admired Portland resident who grew up in Westbrook. He graduated from Westbrook High School in 1967 with a distinguished athletic career before serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Foley was reported missing by his wife, Christine, on the morning of June 22. He had left his Portland house at around 7 p.m. the day before and had not returned.

At the time, rumors ran rampant about what led to Foley’s murder.

“The murder was such a mystery. They were looking for answers,” said Loren Coleman, whose son played baseball for Portland High School with Foley’s son B.J.

Roger Brunelle, who lived near Foley on Curtis Road, said his first concern at the time was the safety of his neighborhood – another place where rumors floated. But, according to both Coleman and Brunelle, within a few months, people stopped talking about it.

“When you hear ‘No one knows’ so many times, your focus starts to fade,” said Brunelle.

Though rumors have subsided, friends and neighbors are still baffled by the fact that Foley – described as a congenial man who gave of himself without seeking recognition – could have been murdered.

“Everybody I talk to can’t believe it, knowing who Kevin was,” said Steve Preston, who played football with Foley at Westbrook High School. “He was a terrific guy.”

Coleman said he and Foley were the only two parents who made it to every one of their sons’ baseball games, and if Foley wasn’t taking care of the coach’s elderly mother, who kept score at the games, he was chatting up everyone on the sidelines.

“He was the kind of guy that no matter who you were, he’d come up over to you with the hugest grin and grab your hand,” Coleman said. “I’d see him greet 20 or 30 people at a game like he hadn’t seen them in a year.”

Coleman, who was also president of the baseball booster club, said Foley would donate money to the group anonymously. At one fundraiser, Coleman said, Foley bought seven T-shirts and Polo shirts he didn’t have any use for, in order to support the team.

“He would do anything he could without any credit,” Coleman said.

Foley had the same kind of reputation in North Deering. He was the affable neighbor who would always stop to talk as he walked his dog down the street.

“He was friends with everybody on the block. He knew everybody,” said neighbor Paul Ureneck.

Ureneck said he believes that people in his neighborhood have stopped openly speculating about the circumstances surrounding the murder out of respect for his family.

“People don’t go there,” he said. “It’s just opening up an old wound.”

With no new information from police, there’s not much more for people to say about what might have happened the night Foley was murdered – but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped thinking about the man himself.

“I think he’s in everybody’s thoughts,” Ureneck said.

Preston said it had occurred to him that it had been about a year since Foley was killed.

“I talked to a couple co-workers about it a day or two ago,” said Preston, whose co-workers didn’t know Foley, but were familiar with his murder. “We were surprised nothing had been resolved.”

Brunelle, too, said even though he doesn’t worry his safety is at risk any more, he’d still like some answers about what happened.

“There’s still some anxiety,” he said. “I think everybody’s still a little upset there isn’t any closure on the matter.”

But even if neighbors and friends still haven’t found the answers themselves, police say that they’re still optimistic that the case will be resolved.

“A year is not that far out,” McDonough said.

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