DNA technology has allowed police in Florida to identify a woman killed four decades ago. 

The victim’s daughter is from Gloucester and met with police on Tuesday. Now, Maehgan Smith will get to lay her mother to rest.

“I think the feeling of even picking up her remains thinking ‘I probably haven’t touched any part of her in 41 years’ is a little surreal feeling,” Smith said. 

Smith’s mother, Lori Kearsey, was found dead in a canal in Davie, Florida in February of 1984. 

Kearsey’s body had gone unidentified for decades until local police reopened the cold case. 

As their investigation continued, Davie Police Sgt. Kevin Urbaez said authorities were able to locate Smith using DNA from bone fragments. 

“I was so overwhelmed because I resigned myself to the fact that I thought I would probably never know what happened to her,” Smith said. 

Smith was a small child when Kearsey went missing. Her parents were divorced at the time and she said Kearsey, then 23, had remarried.

“She married into a pretty infamous crime family in Boston,” Smith said. 

“She had dropped me off on the weekend and just didn’t go back,” Smith said of her last interaction with her mother.

While it is unclear what Kearsey was doing in Florida, authorities said she was strangled. 

Investigators are now looking for clues as they hope to find the person or people behind Kearsey’s death.

“That’s our goal in this case — to bring additional closure — but also to bring those who were involved in this criminal case to justice,” Urbaez said.

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