Chelmsford

Human Remains Found in Concord River Amid Search for Missing Teen Judith Chartier

The "major update" in the search for Judith Chartier, a teenager from Chelmsford who went missing nearly 40 years ago, doesn't necessarily mean the remains are hers, officials say

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Human remains were found during a search of the Concord River on Wednesday, officials said, calling it a "major update" in the search for long-missing 17-year-old Judith Chartier.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan confirmed that a variety of human remains were found close to a car that belonged to Judy Chartier was found on Tuesday. They have yet to confirm whether or not the remains belong to Chartier, but they did locate a purse with a laminated ID belonging to her in it.

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"That does not mean the remains are Judy Chartier but it is a piece of information we've taken from that area," Ryan said.

State officials will work to identify the body and work to determine what led to their death.

After human remains were found in the Concord River on Wednesday as police searched for Judith Chartier, who went missing in1982, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan gave an update to press.

Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney said that, "while this is a major, major case development, it affects a person and a family forever," adding that "we've never closed the case, it's been something we've been ongoing working on involving multiple investigators."

About 10 Massachusetts State Police divers had been in the river Wednesday continuing a search for evidence, officials had said earlier.

Ryan said the water in that part of the river is murky, making it difficult to sustain a search for long periods.

The update comes amid a renewed search for the teenager from Chelmsford who went missing nearly 40 years ago.

The car she was driving when she was last seen leaving a party in Billerica on June 5, 1982, was found in the Concord River Tuesday.

New sonar technology helped locate the car, Ryan said Wednesday, work done by her office's cold case team.

"We make a commitment to families when someone either loses their life or disappears that we will not give on the cases, and I know, often, when there is not a result, people thinks that means there is no effort," she said.

Investigators will now try to talk to the people who were at the outdoor gathering in Billerica with Chartier before her death to gather more information that may help determine what happened to her, Ryan said.

"You know, for a long time, we knew where the story ended in those early morning hours. Now, we have a conclusion to where the car and these human remains were found, and the question now will be connecting that," she said.

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