Maine police said Tuesday they’ve made an arrest stemming from a 37-year-old homicide investigation into the death of a baby in the far northern part of the state.
The baby’s body was discovered in Frenchville in December 1985, after a Siberian Husky carried the body of the newborn several hundred feet to the home of the dog’s owner.
“I could not believe what I saw. I saw what looked like a little rag doll, but then we saw it was a frozen little baby,” the dog’s owner, Armand Pelletier, told the Bangor Daily News in 2014.
Police then investigated and found that the baby was born and abandoned in below-zero temperatures at a gravel pit in the town. They said Tuesday they’ve arrested the baby’s mother, Lee Ann Daigle, 58, in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Police said they were able to identify Daigle due to advancements in the use of DNA technology and genetic genealogy. They said Daigle was charged with a count of murder and arrested outside her home on Monday.
Daigle waived extradition and was brought to Maine, where she was being held at Aroostook County Jail in Houlton, police said. Daigle’s first court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday, police said.
It was unclear if Daigle had yet been able to hire an attorney. Police did not say if she had hired representation.
Police said the arrest was the culmination of decades worth of investigative work from dozens of now retired and current detectives who worked on the case, WGME-TV reported.
Today, Maine has a law that allows parents to surrender a child less than 31 days old to approved safe haven providers, including law enforcement officers, medical service providers and hospitals.