Body removed from Lewiston storage unit may be woman missing since 1983


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LEWISTON — Maine State Police have alerted the family of a woman who went missing in 1983 after finding a body in a storage unit on North Lisbon Street.

Submitted to the Bangor Daily News

Francis "Frank" Julian, pictured in his obituary photo, was the former boyfriend of Kitty Wardwell. Wardwell went missing at age 29 in 1983. State Police on Saturday removed an unidentifed body from a storage unit rented by Julian on Lisbon Road. Julian died unexpectedly on Oct. 1.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

A body believed to be that of Kitty Wardwell, missing since 1983, was found inside an unplugged freezer in storage Unit 173 at Moore Self Storage in Lewiston.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

A body believed to be that of Kitty Wardwell, missing since 1983, was found inside an unplugged freezer in storage Unit 173 at Moore Self Storage in Lewiston.

Stephen McCausland, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman, said it was unclear whether the body is that of Kitty I. Wardwell, who was reported missing 28 years ago after last being seen with her former boyfriend, Frank Julian. However, McCausland said, Wardwell's family had been notified of the discovery.

"We're keeping both families in the loop," he said. "We don't know yet who the body is."

Lewiston detectives were notified Friday afternoon of a body discovered at Moore Self Storage. McCausland said the body was inside a freezer within the storage locker. The freezer was not plugged in.

McCausland said the storage locker was rented by Francis “Frank” Julian, a Bangor native. Julian died Oct. 1 at the age of 80.

Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere said members of Julian's family were cleaning out the storage unit when they opened the freezer and discovered human remains. Bussiere said Lewiston detectives found evidence that led them to believe the body might be Wardwell's. At that point, Bussiere said, they notified state police, which had investigated Wardwell's disappearance as a missing person case.

McCausland would not comment on the condition of the body. However, he said workers with the State Medical Examiner's Office had to remove the freezer unit with the body still inside to perform an autopsy. McCausland said the medical examiner would begin efforts to identify the body on Monday. 

Police say Julian had been renting the unit since 1992. An employee for Moore Self Storage said police investigators removed all rental records when they finished canvassing the scene Saturday morning.

State Police on Saturday interviewed Julian's family members who discovered the body.

Julian had nine children from relationships with two other women.

Wardwell, who is listed on the Maine State Police missing persons website, was first reported missing by her friend William Desmond. She was 29 at the time of her disappearance. Julian was 52.

At the time, Julian told police in Salem, N.H., that he left Wardwell at a motel there after the couple got into a fight. A subsequent investigation led police to believe that Wardwell was likely the victim of foul play.

The State Police missing persons website described Wardwell as being 5-feet-7-inches tall and 120 pounds at the time of her disappearance. Police did not have a photo of Wardwell, unlike other missings persons listed on the site.

According to his online obituary, Julian attended John Bapst High School in Bangor where he played football. He later moved to Lewiston where he owned Julian's Discount, a novelty store at 272 Main St.

Julian's family members did not immediately return calls for comment Saturday afternoon.

Calls to Wardwell's family members were also not returned.

smistler@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Kim Berry's picture

WHAT happened in the 80's?

I was in high school at the time. I dont know if people could file missing person complaints at the time. and what the protocol was back then. ** KIDDING ! ** OMG

I'm sure her family provided a photo. Just because they didnt publish it here, isnt reason to bitch about it. This was a "breaking news" story ok? That means, they get the facts they have at hand, at the momment they get it, then send it right out to us. THAT'S HOW IT WORKS.

There will be more info coming in. They ARE investigating NOW.. Doesnt mean they are going to publish it though. It is not ALL public business. Looking at all things surrounding the situation would be vital to see if there were any others who knew and whatever.

So, maybe givem a friggin break here? Let them do what they can. Do not criticise the news people for not giving you personal details on the case. Truth be told, it is none of our business anyway. This is personal for the families involved. Curious as I AM, I still know my place. And will give the peopLe respect and privacy they need to do their work on this.

Again, having strength & healing thoughts your way, for the families. This is horrible, for BOTH sides.

Stephanie Johnson's picture

No victim photo?

Is anybody else bothered by the fact that there isn't a photo of the victim? Not a single one! I may not be a cop- but I would think that the very first thing that an investigator would do is to obtain a photo of the missing person from the family, for the missing persons poster- at the very least. Sloppy police work at best! The Lewiston PD should be embarrassed...

How on earth can a missing person be found if nobody knows what she looks like?!?! At 28 yrs old- her family must have had at least one decent photo of her.. truly bizarre.

I remember watching a talk show YEARS ago about a man who hid the remains of his entire family in his storage unit. Hiding bodies in storage units is not exactly an original idea. He had a storage unit for 20 yrs and the cops never thought to check it out??

Jason Theriault's picture

Make a note people

All you have to do to hide a body from Maine police is to rent a storage unit. Seriously, this is one step above hiding the body in a closet or the basement behind some boxes.

Looks like someone got away with murder

What a timely death! The same man who was suspected of killing a woman dies, and among his personal effects stored for ages is her body.
I wonder where he had kept it before he used the storage unit?
His closet?
No excuse for this. The cops should have pressed harder for the truth, instead of it popping up in a storage unit 28 years later.
Sheer incompetence and sloppiness, plus lack of real interest.
A murderer got away with his crime.

Nick Adams's picture

wow!

Seriously, the case happened 28 years ago, this does not reflect the police department now. Yes, they had a couple mistakes recently that haven't been the best, but don't we all make mistakes? Are you a police officer, do you know what it's like being one? I'm not an officer, but do we tell you how to do your job? Probably not, so don't talk like you could do their job day in and day out. Stop disgracing people that put their life on the line everyday to try to attempt to keep, God Forsaken, Lewiston a safe place.

 's picture

He simply paid the rent!

Very simple!! He stored a body. He didn't want anyone to find it. He paid the rent on the storage facilty to cover up what he had done. A no-brainer until "WHOOPS!!!! HE DIED!!" Can't send his sorry butt to Thomaston/Warren now!!!

What really grosses me out is that she was in a freezer that wasn't plugged in..............

Kim Berry's picture

HEY! NO need to YELL!

OK? gheeese
The whole thing is very odd. I was just tossing some ideas out there. To be a good investigator, you look at all combined facts. The obvious ones, the not so obvious ones. And the redundant and seemingly non relavent stuff too! So, with that, you get more info trickling in.

Sometimes people want more than the basic facts. Sometimes people want to find a way to get more answers, so to lay to rest years of heartache and questions. Compassion is part of that search through the facts.

I guess you are not a Criminal Justice Major than are you Marlene? Or a not currently working in a law or science field at all, Yes? Well, I'm sure all those questions will asked and answered. I can bank on it. :)

Kim Berry's picture

excuse spelling mistakes

no edit comments option here. ok
But, regardless, my thoughts go out to BOTH families.. This is a tradgedy and shock. I cannot even begin to imagine the toll that has been taken on the family of the deceased victom. Sad

I pray for resolution and answers soon. There is always more to a story than the simple facts. Wishing the families strength, fortitude, and continued endurance as they struggle through this.

Kim Berry's picture

HOW SHOCKING! WOW

Now I am curious.. Was some one paying for the storage unit? WHO was paying for it. Why would a 80 year old person, have a storage unit. I help my mother with things that she needs. She is 71, I would know if she had a storage unit or not. I would want to check on it, BEFORE she died! Just in case it was an extra expense for her.

OMG I am astounded.. What a horrible sight that must have been for the people who found it. I wonder how a person can have a storage unit for over 20 years? Well, it does not say how long it was in his name. But, still very strange.. wow This is just so sad for the family of the victom. And, of course, the family of the man, who now have a horrible story to pass down generations ongoing, about the dead body found in their Grand and great grandfather's storage unit.. OH God...

 's picture

WOW!

That's crazy! Imagine finding a body while cleaning out your dead relative's storage unit. Yikes.

Kim Berry's picture

WOWOWIES indeed

Hi Charlotte,
I wonder how long, or i wonder that maybe family was not in touch with this man? A secret like this, burried for over 20 years!
I guess if he was considered a suspect at the time, they would have investigated his home, or storage right? I cannot get over this. I am just dumbfounded as you are.

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