Investigators Learn ID of One of 5 Cold Case Victims

By LeAnne Gendreau and Doug Greene
|  Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011  |  Updated 3:58 PM EDT
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Investigators Learn ID of One of 5 Cold Case Victims

Diane Cusack

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After three years, police have identified a woman whose remains were found in a wooded area in New Britain in 2007. 

They have also determined that two women whose remains were found in 2007 were mother and daughter.

These are the most significant developments police have had recently into five cold cases plaguing New Britain and Tolland, Massachusetts.

One of the women found in 2007 has been identified as Diane Cusack. She lived at 189 Oak St. in New Britain and was 55 when she was killed, police said.

She is one of three women whose remains were found behind a shopping plaza at 593 Hartford Road in New Britain in 2007.

Police last had contact with her on July 9, 2003 and said it was for a routine landlord-tenant dispute, police said.

Officials identified her through DNA and the public’s help.

"It was the public's help that led us to the identification of Diane," Lieut. James Wardwell, of the New Britain Police Department, said.

Her body was found 12 years after the first body was found behind that shopping plaza.

In September 1995, police found a woman wrapped in a sleeping bag. A month later, another woman was found in a campground in Tolland, Massachusetts. Now, police said, evidence indicates that these women were a mother and daughter from upstate New York. 

Police are still trying to determine their identities and hope that someone will be able to identify them through what one was wearing,

"The jewelry is kind of distinctive. Somebody may recognize it," Lt. Steve Griffin, of the Massachusetts State Police, said. 

In September 2009, police said they had a lead in those cases -- A tax stamp on a pack of cigarettes, which led Massachusetts police to Albany, New York.

Police now say evidence leads them to believe the clothes and cigarette pack were purchased in suburban Albany, and "forensic isotopes based on water people drink" show she could be from Upstate New York.

 


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