In 1985, a Dog Found a Dead Baby in a Gravel Pit and Took it Home: Now, the Baby's Mother Is in Custody
Around midnight on Dec. 7, 1985, Armand and Lorraine Pelletier of Frenchville, Maine, made a horrible discovery — or rather, their dog did.
Paca, the couple’s dog, had been outside and woke them up wanting to come back in. But when Armand opened the door, there on the step was the body of a perfect newborn baby.
Lorraine, a medical assistant, quickly confirmed the poor baby girl was deceased, and they called the police.
“This baby was a perfect little baby,” Lorraine Pelletier told WCSH. “I mean, she even had a little dimple. Just cute as a button.”
Authorities were able to track the dog’s trail less than 700 feet away to a gravel pit, where the baby had been abandoned in sub-zero temperatures right after being born.
The situation was tragic, and on top of it all Lorraine was worried Paca would be taken in — but police assured her that her dog was in no danger.
“I was afraid they were going to take my dog away, and they said, ‘No, we’re not gonna take your dog away. Your dog was trying to save this baby,'” Lorraine said.
While the investigation continued, the culprit wasn’t immediately found. The Pelletiers assumed that someone had come across the border from Canada.
Detectives told Lorraine that Baby Jane Doe was buried in a grave with a number at a Bangor cemetery, and the years passed without any resolution.
In more recent years, the infant’s case was brought into focus again, and a team worked hard to solve it. On Tuesday, the Maine State Police shared an announcement decades in the making.
“This case was the culmination of decades worth of investigative work from dozens of now retired and current detectives who never gave up finding answers and justice for Baby Jane Doe,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “Over the past two years or so, Detective Jay Pelletier of the State Police Unsolved Homicide Unit and also from Aroostook County has headed up this investigation.
“Det. Pelletier worked alongside of Detective Chad Lindsey of Major Crimes Unit North which is out of Bangor and Houlton and covers Aroostook County. Detectives Pelletier and Lindsay have chased every lead and spent countless hours working and following new leads that helped identify Baby Jane Doe’s mother.
Decades later, the Pelletiers had assumed the case would never be solved, until last month, when a Maine State Police detective showed up at their doorstep in Bangor. https://t.co/cHCUc3sLqD
— NEWS CENTER Maine (@newscentermaine) June 16, 2022
“Over the years through advancements in technology to include DNA and genetic genealogy the Maine State Police were able to identify 58-year-old Lee Ann Daigle, formerly Lee Ann Guerette, of Lowell, Massachusetts as Baby Jane Doe’s mother. In collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office, Daigle was indicted by an Aroostook County Grand Jury on one count of murder and an arrest warrant was issued. Daigle was arrested outside her home without incident on June 13, 2022, waived extradition, and was brought to Maine Monday morning.
“Daigle has been charged with murder and is currently being held at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton. Daigle will make her first court appearance at the Aroostook County Court House via Zoom at 11:30 a.m.”
While justice is finally being served in the case of little Jane Doe, Lorraine still feels the ache of the incident from that cold night in 1985.
Lee Ann Daigle was charged with the murder of her newborn baby nearly 40 years ago. Her adult daughter now believes the pregnancy may have been the result of a sexual assault. #OxygenCrimeNews
Visit the link for more: https://t.co/GSmdNZdBa5 pic.twitter.com/9z4e8UC8ew
— Oxygen True Crime (@oxygen) June 16, 2022
Still haunted by the poor child’s unnecessary death, Lorraine plans to write to Daigle to try to get the “why” behind it all.
“Why? How could you have left a little baby? Animals don’t do that,” she plans on asking, according to what she told WCSH.
Perhaps the saddest part of the whole story is that Lorraine and Armand would have been open to adopting the infant that was disposed of like trash right next to their home.
“One of the questions I asked them, I said, ‘You know, if this baby had lived, would we have had a chance to adopt her, because we’re not able to have children,'” Lorraine said of her interactions with the police.
“It’s too bad that she didn’t ring our doorbell and say I need some help. We’ve helped so many people in our lives.”
Now, Lorraine would like to bring closure to the situation by at least giving the baby a decent name, the name she would’ve given the child if she’d simply been given the chance to adopt the baby girl.
“Jeanelle”: A nod to both Lorraine’s own mother and her husband’s mother’s French name.
“They said, ‘Would you have a name?’ I said, ‘Yes, I do,'” she recalled. “I always — I had a name, if I would’ve ever had a little girl.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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