Police continue work of identifying body found in Lewiston storage unit

A body believed to be that of Kitty Wardwell, missing since 1983, was found inside an unplugged freezer in storage Unit 173 at Moore Self Storage in Lewiston.
Amber Waterman | Sun Journal
A body believed to be that of Kitty Wardwell, missing since 1983, was found inside an unplugged freezer in storage Unit 173 at Moore Self Storage in Lewiston.
Posted Oct. 24, 2011, at 5:51 a.m.
Francis &quotFrank" Julian, pictured in his obituary photo, was the former boyfriend of Kitty Wardwell. Wardwell went missing at age 29 in 1983. State Police on Saturday removed an unidentifed body from a storage unit rented by Julian on Lisbon Road. Julian died unexpectedly on Oct. 1.
Francis "Frank" Julian, pictured in his obituary photo, was the former boyfriend of Kitty Wardwell. Wardwell went missing at age 29 in 1983. State Police on Saturday removed an unidentifed body from a storage unit rented by Julian on Lisbon Road. Julian died unexpectedly on Oct. 1.

LEWISTON, Maine — Authorities continue the investigation into the gruesome weekend discovery of human remains at a Lewiston storage facility, with the State Medical Examiner’s Officer planning an autopsy for Monday morning.

The body found in an unplugged freezer Friday afternoon at Moore Self Storage on North Lisbon Street is believed to be that of Kitty I. Wardwell. The Holden woman was reported missing in July 1983 after last being seen with her former boyfriend, Frank Julian, who died last month in Lewiston at age 80.

Authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine the identity of the remains.

“Our investigation now looks to the Medical Examiner’s Office for answers,” Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police, said. “DNA may need to be used to make a positive identification.”

Meanwhile, McCausland said the 28-year-old case into Wardwell’s disappearance was never actually closed because she was considered a victim of foul play. He said Wardwell’s case remained open nearly three decades despite the original detectives retiring from the force.

Considered an unsolved homicide, McCausland said the case was reassigned to Detective Brian Strout of the Bangor office. He explained that such cases are assigned to detectives for review when time permits.

Strout, who was out of town over the weekend, is charged with reviewing Wardwell’s case.

Wardwell, who is listed on the Maine State Police missing persons website, was first reported missing by her friend William Desmond in the summer of 1983. She was again reported missing more than four months later, this time by her sister, Marla Collins.

Wardwell was 29 at the time of her disappearance, while Julian was 52.

At the time, Julian told police in Salem, N.H., that he left Wardwell at a motel there after the couple got into a fight. A subsequent investigation led police to believe that Wardwell was likely the victim of foul play.

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