LISBON — Police on Tuesday discovered the remains of a body in the woods along a trail popular with ATV riders.
Lisbon and Lewiston police set up yellow crime scene tape to cordon off the trail near the Left Hand Club across from Wagg Road. The body was found in the early afternoon, Lewiston police Chief Michael Bussiere said.
Investigators were exploring the possibility that it might be the remains of Christiana Fesmire, 22, of Lewiston, who has been missing since July 2011.
Buddy Robinson of Lewiston was convicted of Fesmire's murder in Androscoggin County Superior Court last month but has not yet been sentenced in the case.
Police went to the site Tuesday morning after receiving a tip in the Fesmire case, and found the body shortly after.
"We're going under the assumption it's Christiana Fesmire," said Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland, "and the positive identification will come from the State Medical Examiner's Office once they have completed the identification process."
Investigators from that office were expected to examine the remains and the wooded area around it before the body was removed.
Bussiere expected police and representatives from the ME's Office would remain at the scene into Wednesday morning.
Police did not say whether the body was buried. Investigators stretched crime scene tape about 200 yards along a trail into the woods. The body was believed to have been discovered in that area. With leaves no longer on the trees, the spot is in view of Ferry Road.
The area is one leg of a network of trails popular with ATV riders and snowmobilers. The trail is regularly maintained by a local riding group.
If the body proves to be that of Fesmire, it will end more than a year of searching. State, local and county police have searched several areas in Lewiston and in Kennebec and Somerset counties.
To the people who knew her, Tuesday's news was a bit of comfort after more than a year of uncertainty.
"We, her friends, are greatly relieved that Christiana has been found and can finally rest in peace," said Lorene Nadeau, of Freeport. "Always we will remember her way of making everyone she met fall in love with her beautiful smile, loving words, her compassionate soul and that wonderful witty mind. We will miss her and never ever forget this magnificent woman Christiana."
Police have said Robinson drowned Fesmire in the bathtub of her 36 Highland Ave. apartment in July of 2011. Robinson reportedly confessed to his sister, Brandi, and others, remarks that led to his arrest three months after Fesmire was reported missing.
Motive for the killing has remained murky. An 18-page police affidavit filed in Androscoggin County Superior Court portrays Fesmire, Robinson and his sister as co-workers at ACS Inc., a Lewiston call center.
Records also portray the women as part of an online prostitution ring, with Fesmire and other women working for Brandi, described as their madame.
Police did not say whether the tip that led to Fesmire's body came from Robinson, who is awaiting sentencing in the killing.
"We anxiously await Buddy's sentencing," said Nadeau, "as we want to show our support to Christiana's family and to show Buddy that he has affected a sizable group by taking our friend from us."
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