FROM the cult-like following gained by shows such as Netflix’s “Making a Murder” to “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” Americans are at the very least interested in the concept of justice. That is to say, a majority of citizens when properly educated on a crime find value in holding responsible those who commit heinous acts.

This commitment to justice shown by our citizenry is why I am writing about Megan Jimenez of Merrimack and her unsolved homicide in an attempt to heighten awareness for a murdered child and to invite Granite Staters to seek out justice for a little girl.

On June 15, 1989, police in Merrimack responded to a call about 5:30 a.m. from Karen Jimenez, Megan Jimenez’s mother. The responding officer found 2½-year-old Megan unresponsive and not breathing at 15 Sharon Ave. in Merrimack. She was declared dead at the hospital later the same day. An autopsy determined Megan’s death to be a homicide resulting from long-term pattern of physical abuse. No suspects were ever identified or charged.

Homicide is the third leading cause of death for children between 1 and 4 years old in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A 2010 report on homicide trends in the United States from 1976 to 2005 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) concludes that “a parent is the perpetrator in most homicides of children under the age of 5.”

Furthermore, investigators “are more likely to identify a suspect if the victim is a child” in part because children almost always knew their killer. In fact, the BJS states that more than 80% of murdered 2-year-old children from 1976 to 2005 knew the perpetrator. The report goes on to say police charged or identified a suspect in 90.8% of homicide cases involving a 2-year-old victim, the highest clearance rate for any age group included in the study.

New Hampshire successfully convicted Katlyn Marin for the 2014 murder in Nashua of her 3-year-old daughter, Brielle Gage, and in doing so demonstrated the state’s ability to prosecute a case with strong similarities to Megan’s case.

Two main factors, however, potentially keep Megan’s case cold. First, did the Merrimack Police Department take an “open approach” when the responding officer arrived at the scene. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) guide for investigating child fatalities states the importance of approaching the investigation of child fatalities “. . . with the hypothesis that the child may have been a victim of maltreatment.” If the responding officer did not adopt this approach, critical time to secure the scene, gather physical evidence, and to interview witnesses may have been lost.

Second, the lack of direct and circumstantial evidence or witness testimony could make it challenging to charge Megan’s murderer. Katlyn Marin’s trial relied heavily on testimony from Brielle’s father against Marin. Investigators do not commonly find an eye witness to the actual event that caused the fatal injuries to a child.

Even after considering these factors, we still nonetheless do not know why investigative efforts into identifying who killed Megan have stalled. That does not mean citizens of New Hampshire cannot help solve Megan’s case in 2020. But, it takes a platform such as the New Hampshire Union Leader to give this cause a voice. We all should be outraged by the idea that a child can be murdered in New Hampshire without a Netflix documentary to provoke such a sentiment.

A sense of reverence and respect for justice does exist in each of us. We just need to come together, get a little curious — as well as a little angry — about what happened to Megan to give her case the breakthrough she deserves.

Alastair P. Huntley lives in Nashua and is a premedical student at Northeastern University.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

MAY IS Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month — a time to reflect upon and engage with the unique problems these ailments bring to everyday life. From the general misery of congestion to the terrifying reality of shortness of breath, thousands of Americans throughout New Hampshire struggle to co…

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

AS New Hampshire and her neighboring states begin to address the process of reopening retail, restaurants, state offices and business of all kinds, the details of how to do so in a manner that preserves our economy and our personal health is causing significant consternation for many. The id…

THESE last two months have been unlike any in my lifetime. It’s humbling to be reminded how, in the 21st century, there is still little we control and how we are not as all-knowing as we think. Pandemics, it turns out, are great equalizers. No one is immune from the sadness, pain and loss th…

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A SCHOOL BUS driver, shoe store worker, car salesperson, factory worker, restaurant server, landscaper, dental assistant, online college instructor, dog breeder, hairdresser, hospital administrator, state employee, auto mechanic, construction foreman, child care teacher, janitor, cook, nanny…

NEW HAMPSHIRE’s stay-at-home order was issued March 16th. More than two months later we continue to face serious restrictions that limit our ability to earn a living, our freedom of assembly, and right to worship as we see fit. The continuation of this state of emergency not only inflicts ha…

Friday, May 22, 2020

ON MAY 18, the New Hampshire Union Leader published an oped “Sex work is not work” by Jasmine Grace, founder of Jasmine Grace Outreach, one of many organizations raising awareness about human trafficking by conflating it with adult consensual prostitution.

Thursday, May 21, 2020
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

GRANITE STATERS believe in liberty — it’s even enshrined in our state motto. A core tenant of liberty is the right to privacy. It is not a coincidence that New Hampshire is a national leader on privacy rights. The right to live, work, and go about one’s business without governmental intrusio…

THE ORIGIN of the phrase “No shirt, no shoes, no service” is likely a dubious response to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but it has become separated from its discriminatory purpose. This phrase can now be pressed into service during the COVID 19 crisis with a modest change: Add a …

Monday, May 18, 2020

I’VE ALWAYS had a negative impression of superstores: cold, impersonal, dull. Everywhere I’ve lived, (San Francisco, London, Seattle, now New York City) I’ve mostly shopped local and tried to support small businesses. Overall, I’ve led a very sheltered, urban retail life.

IF WE focus only on what social media tells us, we are to believe that crime is uncontrollable and overly violent right now. Though crime rates are actually dropping, one thing that social media does have correct is their coverage of rape and sexual assault, two things that have been increasing.

ON MAY 7, the New Hampshire Union Leader published a Reuters article on its back page with the catchy title “Streetwalkers to Sweet Talkers” outlining the dilemma Chile’s prostitutes face under Covid-19 now that they cannot engage in the “intimate” aspect of their trade.