Journalists at a small-town newspaper on Long Island are getting credit for helping to reopen the case of a 38-year-old mother who vanished mysteriously in 1966.
Police investigating the disappearance of Louise Pietrewicz were unable to solve the case, and it eventually went cold.
Then last October, The Suffolk Times and The Riverhead News-Review published a 10,000-word story on it. The story faulted local police and targeted William Boken, a married police officer who had a romantic relationship with the victim after she left her husband, who also had been a suspect.
Suffolk County police said that story prompted Southold police to reopen the investigation.
On Monday, skeletal remains were found buried in the basement of a home in Southold once owned by Boken, who died in the early 1980s.
Police dug up the basement in 2013 but didn't find anything then. This time they returned with ground penetrating sonar and eventually uncovered an entire skeleton.
"It's almost like a dream. After 51 years! Unbelievable! Thank God, thank God!" the victim's daughter, Sandy Blampied, said in a telephone interview with The New York Times.
Police said the remains are being examined by the medical examiner to confirm the identity and determine the cause of death.
Suffolk County Police chief of detectives Gerard Gigante said it was nice to be able to bring closure to the family.
"No murder case or missing person case is resolved until we find a body or make an arrest for murder," Gigante said. "So, in this case, it is good to bring it to a close."