IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Human remains, car found in river in search of N.H. woman missing for 43 years

Alberta Leeman vanished in July 1978.

A 43-year missing person case may have been solved after a New Hampshire dive team found human remains and a submerged car in a river, authorities said.

State police said they believe the vehicle may belong to Alberta Leeman, who vanished on July 26, 1978. Her disappearance is not considered suspicious and an investigation remains ongoing, according to a police statement posted on Facebook.

Alberta Leeman, who went missing on July 26, 1978.
Alberta Leeman, who went missing on July 26, 1978.New Hampshire State Police

"The circumstances surrounding how the vehicle ended up in the Connecticut River are under investigation by the New Hampshire State Police in collaboration with Vermont State Police," authorities said. "Based on the investigation to date, there appears to be no danger to the public in connection with this incident."

The state's Fish and Game Department said one of its officers, Joe Canfield, took an interest in Leeman's case and used scheduled sonar training sessions to search areas he believed Leeman could have disappeared.

During a recent training session, the sonar team found what appeared to be a vehicle submerged in the Connecticut River in Lancaster, the department said in a press release. A search was conducted on Thursday and the team was able to identify the vehicle's license plate, which matched Leeman's missing Pontiac.

Fish and Game officers search the Connecticut River in Lancaster, N.H.
Fish and Game officers search the Connecticut River in Lancaster, N.H.NH Fish and Game / Facebook

Officials believe the car has been submerged since July 1978. The remains have not yet been positively identified.

Leeman was 63 when she went missing. Her family told the New Hampshire Union Leader that she had left everything at home, including her purse. A cup of coffee was left abandoned on the table, they said.

On Friday, the family gathered at the edge of the river as a dive team searched the overturned vehicle. “You never give up,” Leeman's daughter, Nancy McLain, told the newspaper.