A car that was found in the Concord River belonged to a 17-year-old who went missing almost 40 years ago, authorities in Massachusetts confirmed Tuesday. Judith Chartier was last seen leaving a party in Billerica around 2 a.m. on June 5, 1982.
According to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, portions of the 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger were found in the river, and on Tuesday, they were matched to the Vehicle Identification Number of Chartier's car. Authorities did not say exactly when parts of the car were located.
"This is a very significant development in this case and we are still processing the car for any additional evidence," Ryan said in a statement. "Sadly, this discovery comes after nearly forty heartbreaking years of Judith's friends and family missing her and wondering about what happened that day. We are committed to continuing the search for those answers."
Billerica Acting Chief Troy Opland said he was "grateful to all of the people working hard on behalf of Judy Chartier."
"We look forward to working with all parties to bring justice in this case," he said in a statement.
The Middlesex District Attorney's Office Cold Case Unit, Billerica Police, Chelmsford Police, Massachusetts State Police Detectives, and the Massachusetts State Police Dive Team are all assisting in the investigation.
Judith's brother, Joe Chartier, told NBC10 Boston in 2017 that his sister's disappearance is "a hurt I can't explain."
"It's very hard because Judy was my best friend growing up," he told the station. "Her and I did everything together."
Joe Chartier told the station that his sister was with her fiancé at the party and they had an argument. He said she drove him back home to Chelmsford, then returned to the party. She was last seen by friends leaving to go home, he said.
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