Parts of a car driven by a teenager who went missing in Massachusetts almost 40 years ago have been found submerged in around 10 feet of water in the Concord River, along with human remains and the teen’s ID.
Judith Chartier, 17, was last seen leaving an outdoor party in Billerica in the early hours of June 5, 1982.
Massachusetts State Police Dive team and civilian divers, using new sonar technology, found elements of her 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger in the river near Lowell on Tuesday. The remains, discovered Wednesday, have not been identified. The cause of death is unknown.
Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan called the cold-case discovery “very significant.”
“Sadly, this discovery comes after nearly forty heartbreaking years of Judith’s friends and family missing her and wondering about what happened that day. We are committed to continuing the search for those answers,” Ryan said.
“For a long time, we knew where the story ended in those early morning hours,” Ryan added. “Now we have a conclusion as to where the car and these human remains were found, and the question now will be connecting that.”
Chartier’s parents died without knowing what had happened to their daughter. Her living relatives have been informed of the development.
“As you can imagine, after all of these years — first to hear just a little bit of news yesterday that we’ve been able to locate the car, and then to hear this morning that we’ve found these human remains — is both heartening, in that they now have a sense of what happened to their sister, but also distressing in terms of all the years they have waited,” Ryan said.