Deborah Bates was 23 when she was last seen in February 1993.

CHELMSFORD, Mass. (AP) – Authorities have identified the remains of a woman who was discovered last week near a Chelmsford highway.

The woman is believed to be Deborah Bates, who was last seen in February 1993 in Lowell, said Emily LaGrassa, spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. Bates was 23 at the time.

A state trooper found the remains of Bates and a fetus that was at least seven months old on Thursday as he was driving home from work.

“We don’t think it was there very long. We think it was probably kept somewhere else and dumped in Chelmsford recently,” LaGrassa said.

The discovery followed that of Dinelia Torres, 33, of Worcester, in Hudson earlier this month. Last September, the remains of two other women, Carmen Rudy and an unidentified “Jane Doe,” were discovered less than two miles away.

The three earlier cases and the current Chelmsford one are probably unrelated, the Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley has said.

Authorities said Bates fits the profile of a domestic violence victim, and her body was wrapped in a tarp unlike the other women, who are thought to be victims of a serial killer.

LaGrassa said there were no suspects yet in the Chelmsford case.

Authorities have drawn connections among the three earlier cases, including the fact that Rudy and Torres were both petite woman of Puerto Rican descent who went to the same drug treatment center in Worcester.

AP-ES-03-15-04 1527EST

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