Joanne Ringer, 39, has been missing since March 2. Her late husband was the sole suspect in what authorities say is a homicide case.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The human remains discovered in Hatfield on Tuesday have been identified as those of Joanne Ringer, who went missing almost exactly a year ago.
Ringer, 39, was last seen at her home on Hall's Ground in Clarksburg on March 2, but never showed up at her new job driving a taxi in Easthampton. Her green 1999 Volkswagen Jetta was discovered on Exeter Street in Easthampton four days later.
Ringer's body was found in a remote wooded area of Hatfield on Tuesday evening and removed the next day.
Dr. Kathleen Crowley, a forensic odonatologist at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston, made a positive identification from Ringer's dental records. Crowley was assisted by Dr. James Pokines, a forensic anthropologist, also assigned to the Boston Office of the Medical Examiner. The identification was made late Thursday afternoon.
"From the beginning, we have suspected foul play and have approached this as a homicide investigation and we have considered Joanne's husband, Chad Reidy, as the sole suspect," Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said a press conference in Northern Berkshire District Court on last year. "Reidy's apparent suicide on April 7 has not changed that view."
However, Laura J. Reilly, 42, of Berkeley Street, Easthampton, described as Reidy's former girlfriend, was arraigned last April on three counts of misleading investigators, an obstruction of justice, in providing erroneous information during the investigation of Ringer's disappearance.
Ringer's car had been found less than a half-mile from Reilly's address.
Capeless unexpectedly announced his retirement on Thursday morning, paving the way for one of his assistant DAs to be appointed to his post so he could run as an incumbent in November's election. The timing of the announcement, so close to the discovery of the body, had a number of Springfield area media openly speculating that it would be focused on the Ringer case.
On Thursday, Capeless said the timing was a "coincidence" and that his retirement announcement had been planned a long time in advance and that the Ringer family had been told privately what it was regarding.
Ringer's body was positively identified late Thursday afternoon and the media notified shortly before 8 p.m.
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