A car and identification belonging to Judy Chartier, a teen who disappeared in 1982, were found this week in a Massachusetts river, in some of the first discoveries in an almost four-decades-old cold case. Authorities also found as-yet-unidentified human remains in the same location.
Chartier, a Chelmsford, Massachusetts resident, was last seen on June 5, 1982, at 2 a.m. after leaving a party with friends. She was just 17-years-old. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts State Police and civilian divers found a 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger belonging to Chartier in the Concord river, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan in a press conference.
The authorities used portable sonar equipment to locate the vehicle. The Concord River is in eastern Massachusetts, about an hour from Boston.
Ryan said divers went back into the waters near the area on Wednesday where the car was discovered and found humans remains, clothing and purse that contained work identification belonging to Chartier.
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The remains have not been identified and the cause of death remains unknown, Ryan said.
“We’ve in contact with the remaining members of Judy Chartier’s family and it’s both heartening in that they now have a clearer sense of what happened to their sister but also distressing in terms of all the years they have waited,” Ryan said.
Chartier’s parents passed years ago without “knowing what happened to their daughter.”
Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney said the dive team will return to the waters soon, hopefully to uncover more evidence linked to Chartier’s disappearance.
“While this is a major, major case development, it affects a person and a family,” Spinney said during Wednesday’s press conference. “This case has affected the Chelmsford community for the better part of four decades.”
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