BANGOR, Maine — As more details emerge surrounding the 1985 cold case Maine State Police believe they solved Tuesday, in making an arrest in connection to the death of a newborn baby in Frenchville, the owners of the dog that discovered the baby decades ago are speaking out.
On Dec. 7, 1985, Armand and Lorraine Pelletier said their dog, Paca, woke them up in the middle of the night, wanting to be let in from outside. Armand Pelletier answered the door and discovered a newborn baby on his doorstep.
Armand Pelletier said he immediately called his wife out to take a look. As a medical assistant, Lorraine Pelletier said she checked out the baby girl and knew she was dead.
"This baby was a perfect little baby," Lorraine Pelletier said. "I mean, she even had a little dimple. Just cute as a button."
The Pelletiers immediately called the police.
"I was afraid they were going to take my dog away, and they said, 'No, we're not gonna take your dog away. Your dog was trying to save this baby,'" Lorraine Pelletier said.
In the days and months that followed, the Pelletiers were haunted by the what-ifs.
"One of the questions I asked them, I said, 'You know, if this baby had lived, would we have had a chance to adopt her, because we're not able to have children,'" Lorraine Pelletier said.
Lorraine Pelletier said she always thought the mother of the baby came just over the border to Frenchville from Canada, not someone who police now suspect to be from the same town.
"It's too bad that she didn't ring our doorbell and say I need some help. We've helped so many people in our lives," Lorraine Pelletier said.
Now, decades later, the Pelletier's had assumed the case would never be solved, until last month when a Maine State Police detective showed up at their doorstep in Bangor.
"I just couldn't believe it. It's the last thing I ever expected to hear," Lorraine Pelletier said.
"Especially all this time that passed," Armand Pelletier said.
Lorraine Pelletier said she plans to write a letter to Lee Ann Daigle, the woman police believe to be the baby's mother.
Her main question: "Why? How could you have left a little baby? Animals don't do that," Lorraine Pelletier said.
Lorraine Pelletier said the detective told her Baby Jane Doe was buried in a numbered grave by police at a cemetery in Bangor. She said she would like to be able to give the baby the name that will be placed on the gravestone now that she's been identified.
"They said, 'Would you have a name?' I said, 'Yes, I do.' I said I always had a name, if I would've ever had a little girl," Lorraine Pelletier said.
Lorraine Pelletier said that name would be in honor of her mother and her husband's mother's French name, Jeanne.
"Jeanelle," Lorraine Pelletier said.
The Pelletiers say they hope justice is served.
"I just hope that she serves her time, because I feel she needs to serve some time for it," Lorraine Pelletier said.