A woman who abandoned her newborn in a gravel pit in 1985 received a prison sentence this week.

Who is the Defendant?

Lee Ann Daigle pleaded guilty to manslaughter in April. This week, a judge sentenced her to 16 years in prison with all but 6 years suspended for the death of her newborn baby in 1985. In addition, she will have to serve 3 years probation, once she's released.

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What Were the Circumstances of the Case?

Daigle was arrested in June of 2022 at her home in Lowell, Massachusetts and was initially charged with murder. She was accused of taking her newborn baby to a gravel pit in Frenchville, Maine in 1985 and leaving it behind. It was December 7th and temperatures dipped below zero so, needless to say, the child died.

Officials were alerted to the infant who became known as Baby Jane Doe when a dog found the newborn and carried her less than 700 feet to his owner's home. The owner called police and they were able to track the dog's path back to the gravel pit.

At the trial, Daigle said she hoped the judge would take into account the person she has become, including a mother and grandmother, and not just look at one mistake. WVII-TV reports the judge acknowledged those many years that have passed since the baby's death. Years that Daigle could have done the right thing and come forward.

How Did Police Find Daigle?

Police caught up to Daigle after decades of investigative work by dozens of active and retired police officers who were determined to get justice for Baby Jane Doe. Ultimately, it was a culmination of DNA evidence and genetic genealogy that led police to Daigle's door.

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