Human remains that were found in a car in the Connecticut River last year are those of a New Hampshire woman who disappeared in 1978 in a motor vehicle accident, authorities said Friday.
“The remains are those of Alberta Leeman, who was last seen in July, 1978,” New Hampshire State Police and other agencies said in a news release. “At the time of her disappearance, Ms. Leeman was 63 years old.”
Her death was determined to be an accident from a motor vehicle collision and the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries, the news release said. The events surrounding her death aren’t considered to be suspicious.
Leeman’s remains were examined by forensic anthropologists and the New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s Office.
A New Hampshire Fish and Game search team using new sonar equipment found the car in August south of a bridge that connects Lancaster, New Hampshire and Lunenburg, Vermont.
DNA testing compared a DNA sample of a relative of Leeman to the human remains found within the vehicle, which was registered to her. The testing confirmed the identity of Leeman, who was from Gorham.
“The dedication and determination of CO Canfield and the F&G ROV/SONAR Team has solved a 43-year-old mystery and finally given the Leeman family a sense of closure,” the NH Fish and Game Department Law Enforcement Division on Facebook said after the car was located.
Leeman’s daughter told WMUR-TV last year she never gave up looking for her mother and is grateful law enforcement did not stop, either.
In 2018, the Sonar Team found skeletal remains of Tony Imondi inside a car that had been submerged for 20 years in the Androscoggin River, CBS Boston.