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Mother of baby abandoned in Maine charged with murder 36 years later

Lee Ann Daigle, 58, formerly Lee Ann Guerrette, of Lowell, Massachusetts, was arrested by Maine State Police on Monday and charged with murder.

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Thirty-six years after a newborn girl was found abandoned in a Frenchville gravel pit, the baby's mother was charged with her daughter's murder.

Lee Ann Daigle, 58, formerly Lee Ann Guerrette, of Lowell, Massachusetts, was arrested by Maine State Police in Lowell on Monday and charged with murder, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss said in a news release Tuesday. Daigle waived extradition and was brought to Maine.

"It's good that we can bring resolution to the family and closure to a very tough case," Maine State Police Lt. Jeff Love, who leads the Unsolved Homicide Unit, said. "These cases are of the utmost importance for the state police."

Police identified Daigle through DNA technology, Tuesday's release stated. Police would not elaborate on how they used DNA and genetic genealogy to match Baby Jane Doe to her mother. As of Tuesday, she was being held at the Aroostook County Jail.

In Tuesday's release, Moss referred to the baby as "Baby Jane Doe." 

Police said the baby was found dead in Frenchville on Dec. 7, 1985, after a dog found the newborn and carried her less than 700 feet to his owner's home.

An investigation showed the baby was abandoned in subzero temperatures at a gravel pit in Frenchville.

Daigle made her first court appearance via Zoom at the Aroostook County Court House at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and entered a not guilty plea.

Moss said Monday's arrest was the culmination of decades of investigative work by dozens of detectives.

The cases assigned to these detectives stay with them every day. When one moves on or retires, a new detective gets assigned to the case. It just so happens that Sergeant Charles Love, one of the original investigators, is the father of Lieutenant Jeff Love, head of the Unsolved Homicide Unit.

"My hero started the case, and I now I get to help a very small piece to help bring closure. He's excited to say the least. He remembers these cases as all the retired detectives do," Lt. Love said. "We've had several successes with these unsolved cases and we'll have several more."

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Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Lee Ann Daigle's maiden name due to incorrect information provided.  


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