In March 1989, Dennis Dechaine was convicted of the murder of Sarah Cherry. Sarah Cherry went missing between noon and 3:20pm on Wednesday July 6, 1988. After police were called, two documents found in the driveway with Dennis Dechaine’s name on them lead police to begin searching for him, as well as for Sarah Cherry. At 8:30pm on the same day, Dennis was seen emerging from woods where the body was found two days later at 12:20pm on Friday July 8. He was subsequently detained by the police. Given these circumstances, it would be natural to suspect that Dennis abducted and murdered Sarah Cherry.
However, the medical examiner found that based upon the progression of rigor mortis, Sarah died 30 to 36 hours prior to her body being examined at 2p.m. on Friday, that is between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Thursday morning, meaning that Dennis could not have been the murderer.
In addition, blood was found under Sarah’s fingernails, and DNA analysis excludes Dennis.
The prosecution claimed that Dechaine confessed, however this is contradicted by contemporaneous notes.