A woman who was hit and killed by a car in Louisiana more than 40 years ago has been identified as a former Mainer, according to the Sun Journal.
For years, the dead woman was known only as Jane Doe. She was recently identified as Michele Oakes Boutilier-Gautreaux, a 26-year-old from Farmington, according to the Sun Journal.
The Sun Journal reports that Boutilier-Gautreaux’s remains were exhumed in 2006 and brought to the Louisiana State University Repository for Unidentified and Missing Persons to work her case and extract DNA.
It was the DNA samples that ultimately led to the official identification on July 18, according to the Sun Journal.
According to an obituary submitted to the Sun Journal, “Michele was born in Farmington, Maine on October 27, 1955, the daughter of Frank and Ella (Quimby) Oakes. She grew up in Rangeley and Dresden, Maine. She moved to the Lockport area in Louisiana in 1975 with friends where she lived until her death.”
KSLA reports Boutilier-Gautreaux was walking on Interstate 10 in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, in the early morning of Dec. 5, 1981, when she was hit and killed by a vehicle.
Police couldn’t find any identification in her belongings. Attempts were reportedly made to find next of kin to no avail. She was buried in March 1982 after a local church provided a burial plot and a funeral home provided a tomb, according to KSLA.
The search for the woman’s identity never ceased, according to the Sun Journal. The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office stayed on the case, and in December 2017, they posted a notice about the unidentified woman, which resulted in several hundred tips and inquiries.
The Sun Journal reports after learning of the case via Facebook Boutilier-Gautreaux’ daughter responded. DNA samples from family members were taken on Feb. 14 and findings were confirmed on July 18 that Jane Doe was Boutilier-Gautreaux.
Her family is planning a December memorial service in Louisiana, according to the Sun Journal.