The remains of a body that were found inside a storage unit by relatives of a man who had rented it and died earlier this month may be those of a woman who was reported missing in 1983, Maine State Police said Saturday.
The relatives were cleaning out the Lewiston storage unit on Friday afternoon when they found the body inside an unplugged freezer, state police spokesman Steve McCausland said.
The remains haven't been positively identified, but McCausland said they may be those of Kitty Wardwell, who was reported missing 28 years ago at age 29.
The storage unit had been rented since 1992 by Francis "Frank" Julian, who was Wardwell's on-again, off-again boyfriend and was the last person known to see her alive. Julian died on Oct. 1 at age 80.
Julian told Salem, N.H., police that he dropped Wardwell off at a motel there after a fight on June 6, 1983, and traveled back to Maine without her, according to the Maine State Police missing persons website. A close friend of Wardwell officially reported her as missing the following month, and a subsequent police investigation indicated she was likely a victim of foul play, the website said.
Officials with the Maine medical examiner's office have removed the freezer, with the body still inside, and taken it to their offices in Augusta, McCausland said.
An autopsy to determine the identity and cause of death is expected to be performed Monday.