LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - Human remains were found in the Concord River on Wednesday morning amid an ongoing investigation into a teenager who disappeared after leaving a party in Billerica nearly 40 years ago, law enforcement officials said.
The discovery comes after parts of a car that belonged to Judith Chartier, of Chelmsford, were found Tuesday in a section of the river that runs through Billerica, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
Chartier, who was 17 at the time, went missing after leaving an outdoor party on June 5, 1982. She had been driving a 1972 Dodge Dart.
The car parts that were found in the river had a Vehicle Identification Number that matched that of Chartier’s vehicle, according to Ryan.
During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Ryan confirmed that a dive team equipped with new sonar technology discovered a “variety” of human remains and clothing in the river near Billerica Street Lowell, not far from where the car parts were found.
Divers also found a purse that contained a work identification card with Chartier’s name on it, according to Ryan.
Ryan noted that investigators are unsure how the car ended up in the river because the landscape was “very different” back in 1982.
“The access that you would have had to the river from various points was different back then,” Ryan explained. “The river here is very murky. There’s a lot of vegetation.”
The human remains have not yet been positively identified and Ryan said that process will likely take time.
“We’ll be working over the next days and weeks to make a positive identification of the remains and then to see if we can make any assessment as to what happened,” Ryan said.
An investigation remains ongoing.
This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.
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