DNA confirms body found

Kathy McCarty, Special to The County
17 years ago

    FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine – A body discovered along the wall of Tinker Dam in Perth Andover, New Brunswick on Tuesday, June 19, has been determined to be that of a missing Fort Fairfield toddler.
    Alexandria Winship-Wright was reported missing April 25 from her Main Street home. The mother, Mindy Wright, reportedly stepped out of the living room to go to the bathroom that morning, leaving Allie, as she was known to family and friends, playing in the living room. Upon returning, the mother discovered the child missing and began to search around the apartment before venturing outside to continue to look for the girl.
The child’s boots were found a short time later after the Presque Isle Police Department’s tracking team of Officer Kevin Schumacher and K-9 Hunter followed the girl’s scent to the Aroostook River, located a short distance away from the apartment. It was believed at that time the child had fallen in the river. The water was high and moving quite fast at the time, hampering search efforts. Dive teams were limited to only a few feet of visibility. Since that time, water levels have dropped considerably. A plane flying over the dam reported spotting a child’s toy near the dam. Upon investigation, crews at the dam discovered the body.
The body was transported from the scene to a facility in New Brunswick where a DNA test was performed. Samples were taken from both parents to aid in determining the child’s identity. Members of the Fort Fairfield Police Department and the Maine Warden Service accompanied members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to St. John, New Brunswick for the autopsy which was performed on Wednesday, June 20. On Friday, June 22, it was confirmed that the body was that of the missing toddler.
“The RCMP worked diligently to allow the state of Maine to recover DNA samples for identification purposes. The DNA was then transported to the Maine State Crime Lab for comparison,” said Patrol Detective Stan Nicholson, of the Fort Fairfield Police Department.
Nicholson credited the cooperation between all agencies involved for making the quick, positive identification.