36 Year Old Aroostook Cold Case Solved Using DNA Technology

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 1:08 PM EDT
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UPDATE (June 15, 2022 - 2:22 PM)

According to the Maine Department of Public Safety genetic genealogy information provided by Identifinders International generated investigative leads that assisted Maine State Police in identifying Lee Daigle as the biological mother of Baby Jane Doe.

The public also has played a key role in providing information to investigators. If you have information you believe may be relevant to this investigation and have not yet spoken to a Maine State Police detective, please call State Police at 207-532-5400.

An arrest has been made in a 36 year old cold case involving a newborn that was found dead in Frenchville shortly after birth. The mother of the baby was arrested yesterday in Massachusetts after DNA evidence was matched.

The footage you are seeing on your screen was originally broadcast on December 9th, 1985. WAGM was in Frenchville covering a story regarding a deceased infant that was discovered after a dog carried the newborn 700 feet to the home of Armand Pelletier in Frenchville from a nearby gravel pit.

“I saw the baby and I couldn’t believe it at first, I thought it was just a little doll, rubber doll that my dog had brought back to the house but the more I saw it the more I thought it was real. After I realized it was a real baby, its when I saw the umbilical cord hanging from the baby.” says Pelletier.

The medical examiner, back in 85, concluded that the baby girl, who had come to be known as Baby Jane Doe. A considerable amount of Blood, as well as what police believe to be a placenta were discovered near the gravel pit. Authorities were unsuccessful in their search for the mother of the child for 36 years, though they never gave up hope.

“Its with great pleasure that today, the Maine State Police gets to announce that we’ve made an arrest in a 36 year old Aroostook county homicide case. On Monday, June 13th, 2022, Maine State Police detectives traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts to arrest the mother of Baby Jane Doe who was found dead in Frenchville, Maine on December 7th of 1985.” - LT Jeff Love – Unsolved Homicide Unit, MSP

Over the years, advancements in DNA technology allowed police to identify 58 year old Lee Ann Daigle, formerly known as Lee Ann Guerrette of Lowell, Massachusetts as Baby Jane Doe’s mother. She was arrested outside her home on June 13th and brought to Maine where she appeared in Houlton Superior Court Tuesday Morning on Murder charges.

“On or between December 6th or 7th, 1985, in the county of Aroostook, State of Maine, Lee Ann Daigle, formerly known as Lee Ann Guerette, did intentionally or knowingly cause the death of a human being known as Baby Jane Doe, Date of Birth 12/6/1985 or 12/7/1985 or did engage in congress that manifested a depraved indifference to the value of human life and which in fact caused the death of a human being known as Baby Jane Doe”

For the past two years, Detective Jay Pelletier, an Aroostook county native, of the Maine State Police Unsolved Homicide Unit headed the investigation to bring justice to Baby Jane Doe.

“Having been from the area, I remember the media coverage initially. With the addition of DNA and genealogy information we felt that this was a case that could be worked on at this time. I knew the history of the case, I also knew the retirees that had worked on it before me and kept in close contact with them so in conjunction with them, reading the reports and trying to determine who the mother was of Baby Jane Doe, this is one that was definitely workable for our unit and in conjunction with Major Crimes North.”

“Bringing resolution, bringing a name to Baby Jane Doe is a culmination of all of that work and effort and just hard work and passion”

Daigle has entered an initial plea of not guilty, and is being held at the Aroostook County Jail without bail. Her next appearance will be at Fort Kent District Court on August 8th.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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