The remains of a New Hampshire woman who mysteriously vanished 43 years ago were believed to have been found near a submerged car last week, investigators said.
Alberta Leeman, of Gorham, N.H, went missing on July 26, 1978, while driving her 1972 Pontiac LeMans. She was 63 years old. Her disappearance is not considered suspicious, New Hampshire State Police (NHSP) said in a statement posted Friday on Facebook.
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING IDAHO BOY, 5, WHO DISAPPEARED NEAR HOME NEARLY 2 WEEKS AGO
After decades of uncertainty surrounding what happened to Leeman, investigators believe they found some answers 14 feet below the surface of the Connecticut River in Lancaster.
“The vehicle has apparently been in the Connecticut River for decades and was recently found by NH Fish & Game utilizing their specialized technology,” NHSP said, adding that human remains were also found.
Leeman was 63 years old when she went missing with her 1972 Pontiac LeMans on July 26, 1978.
(New Hampshire State Police)
The circumstances surrounding how the vehicle ended up in the river remain under investigation.
The state’s Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division said in a statement that one of its conservation officers, Joe Canfield, took an interest Leeman’s mysterious disappearance.
After learning about Leeman’s case, Canfield used the agency’s regularly scheduled ROV/SONAR training sessions to focus searches on areas of the river he believed had a high probability of turning up clues.
The state’s Game and Fish division located a submerged car that matched Leeman’s Pontiac in the Connecticut River. Human remains found within the car have yet to be positively identified.
(New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division and Operation Game Thief)
During a recent training mission, the sonar team located what appeared to be a submerged vehicle, the agency said. A subsequent search on Thursday matched the license plate of the submerged vehicle to Leeman’s Pontiac.
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Investigators believe the vehicle had been submerged in the Connecticut River since July 1978.
While the human remains found near the submerged vehicle have yet to be positively identified, Leeman’s family told the New Hampshire Union Leader that they are grateful for the closure brought to their loved one’s case.
“You never give up,” her daughter, Nancy McLain, told the paper. “She’s at peace, and when they get her we’re going to take care of her with my dad.”
HIGHWAYS ACROSS THE STATE ARE UP TO SPEED. ACCORDING TO TRAFFIC DATA OBTAINED BY WMUR, MORE CARS ARE BACK ON THE ROAD AFTER A DRAMATIC DROP LAST MONTH. THE DATA FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHOWS THAT TRAFFIC BEGAN TO DECREASE THE WEEK OF MARCH 15 AND THAT TREND CONTINUED TO THE WEEK OF APRIL 5. BUT BY THE WEEK OF APRIL 12, NUMBERS BEGAN TO RISE AND HAVEN’T STOPPED SINCE THEN. THE OVERALL NUMBERS ARE STILL DOWN MORE THAN HALF COMPARED TO THIS TIME LAST YEAR. ERIN: FEWER AND FEWER PEOPLE ARE TAKING FLIGHTS BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC. PASSENGER TRAFFIC AT NEW HAMPSHIRE’S BIGGEST AIRPORT DROPPED 52% LAST MONTH. MANCHESTER-BOSTON REGIONAL AIRPORT HAD NEARLY 69,000 TRAVELERS IN MARCH. THAT’S COMPARED TO OVER 143,000 A YEAR AGO. AIRPORT OFFICIALS PREDICT THAT APRIL’S DROP COULD BE AROUND
Data shows vehicle traffic in NH gradually rising, still down sharply from 2019
Airport traffic down 52% in March
According to traffic data obtained by WMUR, more cars are back on the road after a dramatic drop last month.>> Download the free WMUR appThe data from the state Department of Transportation shows that traffic began to decrease the week of March 15 and that trend continued to the week of April 5.But by the week of April 12, numbers began to rise and haven’t stopped since then.>> Coronavirus in NH: Important informationNumbers of vehicles per week in 2020 (in parentheses, see 2019 data during same time frame):Week of March 22: 1,351,693 (2019: 2,208,829)Week of March 29: 1,036,864 (2019: 2,195,800)Week of April 5: 933,809 (2019: 2,200,085)Week of April 12: 936,766 (2019: 2,209,675)Week of April 19: 988,442 (2019: 2,296,125)Week of April 26: 1,066,897 (2019: 2,212,678)The overall numbers are still down more than half compared to this time last year.>> Latest coronavirus coverage from WMURAlso, fewer and fewer people are taking flights because of the pandemic. Passenger traffic at New Hampshire’s biggest airport dropped 52% last month.Manchester-Boston Regional Airport had nearly 69,000 travelers in March, which is compared to more than 143,000 a year ago.Airport officials predict that April’s drop could be around 95%.Visit this link to see a town-by-town map showing the number of cases in each community.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
MANCHESTER, N.H. —
According to traffic data obtained by WMUR, more cars are back on the road after a dramatic drop last month.
>> Download the free WMUR app
The data from the state Department of Transportation shows that traffic began to decrease the week of March 15 and that trend continued to the week of April 5.
But by the week of April 12, numbers began to rise and haven’t stopped since then.
>> Coronavirus in NH: Important information
Numbers of vehicles per week in 2020 (in parentheses, see 2019 data during same time frame):
- Week of March 22: 1,351,693 (2019: 2,208,829)
- Week of March 29: 1,036,864 (2019: 2,195,800)
- Week of April 5: 933,809 (2019: 2,200,085)
- Week of April 12: 936,766 (2019: 2,209,675)
- Week of April 19: 988,442 (2019: