DNA testing has confirmed that human remains discovered last month beneath the basement of a home on Lower Road in Southold are of Louise Pietrewicz, a Cutchogue woman who vanished in October 1966.
Family members said Wednesday that DNA swabs taken from Ms. Pietrewicz’s last surviving sibling and only child proved a match to the remains found nearly seven feet below the basement floor of a home her former boyfriend, one-time Southold Town police officer William Boken, had shared with his wife.
Ms. Pietrewicz’s daughter Sandy Blampied of Middletown, N.Y. said she was called late Wednesday afternoon by Southold Det. Sgt. John Sinning, who was at the former Boken house the morning the remains were found. Police later confirmed the DNA results in a press release.
“I just broke down,” Ms. Blampied said. “I just broke down and cried. It is so hard to believe what has happened. I still can’t believe it. This was my mother.”
Det. Sgt. Sinning also notified Ms. Pietrewicz’s brother, Leo Jasinski of Riverhead.
“He’s looked out for us,” Mr. Jasinski said of Det. Sgt. Sinning. “I choked up. I have never forgotten Louise and I never will. She was my sister. It is over now.”
Ms. Blampied said she’s optimistic the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office can still tell her how her mother died. That information has not yet become available.
The investigation into Ms. Pietrewicz’s disappearance was reopened late last year after The Suffolk Times launched its own investigation into the case. The paper released a special report, along with a three-part documentary, in October.
During interviews within the past two months with Southold Police Det. Sgt. John Sinning and former Southold Detective Joseph Conway Jr., Judith Terry of Southold, the late Mr. Boken’s former wife, directed police to the basement of the home, where she said a body wrapped in burlap was buried soon after Ms. Pietrewicz’s family reported her missing. Mr. Boken died in 1982, years after the home was sold.
Southold police dug into the sandy soil beneath the home on Lower Road, discovering on March 19 a burlap bag wrapped around skeletal remains. They first noticed a jawbone, investigators said.
The search for remains at the former Boken residence began March 15, when Suffolk County Crime Laboratory personnel joined Southold and Suffolk County investigators at the scene. No remains were found initially, but they returned four days later and dug deeper, discovering a full human skeleton. Ms. Pietrewicz was 38 at the time she was reported missing.
Mr. Boken had been arrested in Dec. 1967 by Southold Town police on domestic violence charges for beating his wife, The Suffolk Times previously reported. His wife and two children had no contact with him over the final 14 years of his life. He died in Queens in 1982 and, his body unclaimed, was buried in a pauper’s grave on Hart Island.
Check back later for updates as more information becomes available.