Authorities identify remains of NH woman who vanished more than 30 years ago

MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) - Authorities have identified the remains of a Manchester, New Hampshire, woman who vanished more than 30 years ago at the age of 17, officials announced Wednesday.

The remains were identified as those of Elizabeth “Liz” Lamotte, who was last seen on Nov. 22, 1984, according to a joint press release issued by Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald’s office.

Lamotte, who had been placed at the Youth Development Center, left the facility on a furlough to Gill Stadium and never returned. Her case was discharged in July 1985, even though she had still not returned to the facility.

Lamotte was not reported as a missing person to the Manchester Police Department until 2017. The report was said to be initiated after a tip was received in response to a press conference regarding Bob Evans, a murder suspect in the Allenstown unidentified persons’ case.

Evans and his wife, known as Elizabeth Evans, were said to be living in Manchester in the early 1980s and assistance was requested from the public to help identify her. One of the tips received by the New Hampshire State Police Cold Case Unit was that Elizabeth Lamotte went missing from Manchester during that time frame.

Police then spoke with YDC personnel, along with family members and friends of Lamotte, who all confirmed that she had been missing since 1984.

As part of the investigation, two of Lamotte’s brothers provided DNA samples that were submitted to NamUs, which is managed in part by the University of North Texas.

On Nov. 13, the university’s Center for Human Identification notified Manchester police that they had matched the Lamotte brothers’ DNA to the remains of a woman found murdered in Tennessee in 1985.

The likelihood of a match was determined to be 194.4 million times more likely than the unidentified remains originating from another individual in the United States.

Lamotte had no identification on or near her body when she was discovered, according to investigators. An autopsy determined that her cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, her manner of death a homicide and that she had likely been deceased for several weeks before she was discovered. Her age was estimated at 15-20 years old.

The Lamotte family has since been notified of the development.

Anyone with information about Lamotte’s death is urged to contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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