The skeletal remains of a Connecticut mother who disappeared without a trace more than two years ago have been discovered behind a New York diner, law enforcement said.
The last time anyone saw Laelcira Delima alive was in her Danbury, Connecticut, home in October 2017. The 53-year-old mother told her children she was going to pick up a prescription — and never returned.
Soon after, police issued a missing person alert and a picture of her car, a Honda sedan. Steve Argriou said he later found that car in the parking lot of his Putnam Diner and Restaurant in Patterson, New York, and called police.
Top news stories in the tri-state area, in America and around the world
"They came in my office and said that car is for the lady that’s missing from Danbury," Argriou said. "I was very surprised."
Police were not able to determine how the car wound up at the restaurant, or if Delima arrived alone in the car. Argriou said that due to the placement of the security camera, they couldn't where the car was.
That police activity was just over two years ago, so Argriou was again surprised to find officers back at his property last week. They told him they believed hunters found a skeleton behind the eatery, and they thought it could be Delima.
The remains were found in the swampy marshlands behind the diner. The Putnam County Sheriff says dental records were used to identify the skeleton as Delima.
"I felt so bad my heart dropped, I could picture the family and everything," Argriou said. "I felt so bad that we were so close and we didn’t do nothing about it."
The Putnam County Sheriff's office says there's no indication of foul play, and no note or weapons were found at the scene.
Anyone with information regarding Delima's whereabouts before she ended up at the diner's parking lot is asked to contact Danbury Police in Connecticut or Carmel Police in New York.