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Maine Police Use DNA To Identify Suspected Mother Of Newborn Found Frozen To Death In 1985 Cold-Case Murder

baby cold case
Source: Maine State Police; UNSPLASH

Jun. 15 2022, Published 2:10 p.m. ET

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The mother of a newborn known only as “Baby Jane Doe” found dead in Maine almost 37 years ago was arrested and charged with the cold case murder of her child, authorities announced.

On June 13, Maine State Police took 58-year-old Lee Ann Daigle into custody outside her home in Lowell, Massachusetts, WGME reported.

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On Dec. 7, 1985, a Siberian Husky named Paca discovered the dead infant in a gravel pit in Frenchville and the dog carried the girl’s body to its owners' home, which was located hundreds of feet away, the Bangor Daily News reported.

“She kept pounding at the door’s window to get back in. She kept pounding, and after a while, I went to go look, and I could not believe what I saw,” Armand Pelletier told the publication. “I saw what looked like a little rag doll, but then we saw it was a frozen little baby.”

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Investigators tracked the dog’s path and located where they believed the full-term baby — who reportedly weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and had reddish-blond hair — was born and then abandoned in temperatures that were well below zero at the time.

“It was so cold, just very, very cold,” retired Maine State Police Maj. Charles Love recalled, the Bangor Daily News reported. “I was not the first officer on the scene, but I was one of the earliest. I was walking the scene, trying to gather information. It was so quiet in that gravel pit, and it appeared that a vehicle had driven in, as the tracks were very clear in the snow.”

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Despite an in-depth investigation, the case went cold for nearly four decades until detectives were able to identify Daigle as a suspect using advanced DNA technology and genetic genealogy.

Daigle was extradited from Massachusetts to Maine, where she was being held for murder at the Aroostook County jail in Houlton.

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