Young woman found killed in 1985 finally identified due to tip from another case

USA

Authorities have identified the remains of a young woman who was found murdered in Tennesse over three decades ago.

The body of 17-year-old Elizabeth Lamotte was found on April 14, 1985, partially decomposed along Interstate 81 in Greene County, Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. But she wasn’t from Tennessee; she was from New Hampshire.

She had no identification on her or nearby, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday.

Now that authorities have solved the mystery of who she was, they want to find out how she died.

An autopsy found that Lamotte had died a few weeks before her body was found. Her death was ruled a homicide from blunt force trauma to the head, authorities said.

Investigators in Tennessee had been working to identify Lamotte since 1985, searching everything from the National Crime Information Center’s database for missing juveniles and adults to records from the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program repository for missing and unidentified persons, the New Hampshire’s Attorney General’s Office said.

Decades passed with her remains still unidentified. Then, a tip last year gave the case new momentum, authorities said.

Lamotte went missing on Nov. 22, 1984, when she left a youth development center in Manchester, New Hampshire, on a furlough and never returned, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said.

The tip came during a press conference held by New Hampshire officials about murder suspect Bob Evans, who lived with his wife, known as Elizabeth Evans, in Manchester in the early 1980s. Police wanted to identify Elizabeth Evans. During their search, they received a tip from someone who thought Lamotte, who went missing in Manchester around the same time, could be Elizabeth Evans, authorities said.

Lamotte was then officially reported as a missing person to the local police.

Two of Lamotte’s brothers gave DNA samples, and they were added to a database for missing, unidentified and unclaimed person cases, authorities said.

On Tuesday, the Manchester Police were notified of a match between the DNA from Lamotte’s brothers and the remains found in Tennessee. Lamotte’s information had been entered into the same database in 2006.

Though Lamotte has been identified, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is still asking for the public’s help in developing new leads in her killing.

Anyone with information — specifically about people Lamotte may have been with on the days before she died — is asked to call investigators at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

ABC News’ Rachel Katz contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply