Body in Freezer Might be Woman Who Disappeared in 1983

The body of a woman who disappeared in 1983 may have been found inside an unplugged freezer in the storage unit of a former boyfriend who recently died, according to police.

The children of Francis Frank Julian were cleaning out his storage unit following his death earlier this month when they came across a body inside the unplugged freezer.

They notified police, who took the freezer and the body to the medical examiner for identification and cause-of-death investigations. Police expect some results from the medical examiner's office later in the week.

Police say the woman could be Kitty I. Wardwell, of Holden, Maine, who disappeared at the age of 29 and was last seen by Julian when they couple was fighting one night in 1983.

Julian, then 52, allegedly dropped Wardwell off at a motel in New Hampshire and never saw her again, according to the Maine department of public safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Despite multiple interviews by police, Julian was never named a suspect, and no one was ever arrested or charged with her disappearance.

Wardwell's disappearance has remained a cold case for the police department, which has featured a missing persons report on its website for the woman for years. McCausland said that detectives in the department received all new assignments today to begin investigating the case anew, and interviews with family members of both Julian and Wardwell were already under way.

Julian was 80 when he died in a hospital in Lewiston, Maine. He had 11 children from two different wives, both of whom died before him.

McCausland would not give further details about the circumstances under which the body was found, other than to say the freezer was a floor unit and it was not plugged in.

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