Police have identified four of the seven people whose remains were uncovered behind a New Britain shopping center and said one of the bodies found this month is that of a Seymour mother who vanished in 2003.
Melanie Ruth Camilini, 29, disappeared on Jan. 1, 2003. Police said her body was buried behind the shopping plaza on Hartford Road in New Britain that houses a Subway restaurant, liquor store and hair salon.
"Melanie is the mother of two children. Today is Melanie's birthday," New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell said while announcing her identity at a news conference Monday afternoon. "It's appropriate we remember Melanie today and begin the process of bringing her home."
She would have turned 42 on Monday.
Camilini had been living in the Waterbury area when she disappeared and was last seen in Waterbury with two men, according to Lostnmissing.org. Her mother reported her missing in April of that year.
According to the North American Missing Persons Network, Camilini had a substance abuse problem and would leave for periods of time, but had always stayed in the area.
Seymour police read a statement from Camilini's family Monday afternoon, thanking the agencies that worked together to bring them closure.
"The family also wishes to extend their heartfelt condolences to all the family members of the other victims," said Seymour Police Det. Scott Nihill.
Investigators have been searching the marshy area in New Britain since human remains were first uncovered in 2007. The spot, thick with trees and brush, is inaccessible by car.
With help from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, police previously named three other victims: Diane Cusack, Joyvaline Martinez and Mary Jane Menard.
Police identified the remains of Cusack, a New Britain resident who was born on April 1, 1955, in December 2010. The last time anyone Cusack her alive was in the late summer or early fall of 2003.
The body of Joyvaline "Joy" Martinez, of East Hartford, was identified in August 2013. She disappeared on Oct. 10, 2003, at the age of 24.
Police identified the remains of Mary Jane Menard, born on May 7, 1963, in 2014. Menard was 40 years old when she disappeared in October 2003. At the time, her daughter was serving overseas in the armed forces.
The deaths of Cusack, Martinez and Menard were classified as homicides, and the investigation has revealed that the crimes were committed by the same offender at different times.