Stafford County New Hampshire Sheriff's Department announced this week the death of K-9 Daisy Mae, who in 2014, with handler Keith MacKenzie, helped end the 6-day manhunt for Jesse Marquis. Credit: Julia Bayly

The tracking hound that brought an end to the longest manhunt in Aroostook County history almost four years ago passed away this past week due to complications from a tick-borne illness.

The death of Daisy Mae, a 7-year-old bloodhound, was announced Thursday by the Stafford County New Hampshire Sheriff’s Department which owned the beloved four-legged officer.

“It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of K-9 Bloodhound Daisy Mae,” said Stafford County Sheriff David Dubois in a released statement. “Daisy passed away on Feb. 18 due to medical complications [and] was assigned to Deputy Keith MacKenzie for her entire life.”

It was MacKenzie who, with Daisy, traveled to St. Francis where they tracked and assisted in the apprehension of Jesse Marquis in May of 2014.

For almost a week Marquis had eluded scores of law enforcement personnel in the northern Maine woods after killing his former girlfriend Amy Theriault in her St. Francis home.

It took Daisy just over an hour to track Marquis, who was promptly arrested and charged with the murder of Theriault.

In 2016 an Aroostook County Superior Court jury found Marquis guilty of Theriault’s murder and he is serving a life sentence for the crime.

For the family of Amy Theriault and residents of the tiny St. John Valley community, Daisy brought much needed closure and security back into their lives.

“Daisy Mae [was] responsible for finding the man who killed my daughter,” said Barbara Theriault on Friday. “Daisy found him on the first day of her search and ended the six days of hell we experienced while [Marquis] was on the loose [and] I will forever be grateful to Daisy Mae and her handler [because] Daisy ended the six days of fear.”

Daisy and MacKenzie solidified their hero status in St. Francis when it was learned MacKenzie’s mother had been born in the town and he was, in fact, related to dozens of its residents, including — by marriage — to the Theriaults.

For her work in St. Francis, Daisy was awarded a Maine State Police Award for Service to Maine.

In their seven-year career Daisy and MacKenzie responded to 200 call-outs and earned numerous other awards for their work, including one for apprehending a fugitive wanted for killing a Pennsylvania State Trooper and wounding another trooper.

According to Foster’s Daily Democrat, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office owned Daisy Mae, but she spent a lot of her time in Rochester, New Hampshire, with MacKenzie, a full-time Rochester police officer who worked part-time as a deputy sheriff.

In addition to being a member of the force, Daisy was a much loved member of MacKenzie’s family and of the community.

“Everyone loved her,” MacKenzie told Foster’s. “She was good at what she did, and she was a great community policing tool.”

MacKenzie said Daisy Mae and other bloodhounds have fun personalities.

“They are goofy animals,” he said adding that his daughters loved twirling Daisy’s long ears around like a helicopter, which Daisy loved too, he said.

About two weeks ago, according to Foster’s, MacKenzie noticed the color in Daisy’s gums was off and her eyes were yellow.

He rushed her to the veterinarian where she was diagnosed with anaplasmosis, a tick-borne infection. Despite treatments with antibiotics and blood transfusions, Daisy’s health deteriorated to the point MacKenzie made the difficult decision to have her put down.

MacKenzie told Foster’s on Thursday that Daisy’s health deteriorated quickly, a surprise to him. “She had a lot of drive in her,” he said. “She was definitely in her prime right now.”

The news of Daisy’s death was met with sadness by those who had taken the time to meet her in St. Francis.

“It was amazing to actually meet her when she was here,” said Gerald Jandreau, St. Francis fire chief. “Those two — Mackenzie and Daisy — are true American heroes [and] he has my sympathies because I know these dogs can be as much a part of your family as kids.”

MacKenzie has also received messages of condolences from around New England and from as far away as Tennessee. A memorial service for the dog will take place in the coming weeks.

“In the midst of sorry and tragedy [Daisy] showed us the true meaning of selflessness,” Barbara Theriault said. “God has a special place for you in heaven, Daisy. Amy loved dogs and I know she is up there welcoming you home.”

Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.

Avatar photo

Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.