A woman who was run over by a car and killed in Louisiana more than 40 years ago has been officially identified as Michele ‘Mimi’ Oakes Boutilier-Gautreaux, a 26-year-old formerly of Farmington. 

Michele ‘Mimi’ Oakes Boutilier Gautreax Submitted photo

For years, the dead woman was known only as Jane Doe. Investigators tried several methods to identify her over the decades, but none proved fruitful until earlier this month. 

According to an account provided by the family, in 2006 Boutilier-Gautreaux was exhumed and her remains were brought to Louisiana State University Repository for Unidentified and Missing Persons to work her case and extract DNA.

It was the DNA samples that ultimately led to the official identification on July 18. 

According to an obituary, “Michele was born in Farmington, Maine on October 27, 1955, the daughter of Frank and Ella (Quimby) Oakes. She grew up in Rangeley and Dresden, Maine. She moved to the Lockport area in Louisiana in 1975 with friends where she lived until her death.” 

According to news accounts, on Dec. 5, 1981, Boutilier-Gautreaux was walking on I-10 in Breaux Bridge, La. when she was struck by a vehicle and killed. 


During the initial investigation, law enforcement officers couldn’t find any identification in her belongings, police said at the time. Attempts were made to find next of kin to no avail. 

According to The Daily Advertiser, based in Lafayette, La., a local church provided a burial plot and a funeral home provided a tomb, casket and services for the unidentified woman, who was laid to rest in March 1982. Two Breaux Bridge residents looked after her grave until their deaths and an unknown person took over the care after that, according to news accounts. 

The search for the dead woman’s identity never ceased. The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office stayed on the case and in December of 2017, they posted a notice about the unidentified woman, which resulted in several hundred tips and inquiries, a sheriff’s official said. 

After learning of the case, via Facebook, earlier this year, Boutilier-Gautreaux’ daughter Angie, responded, according to the family account. DNA samples from family members were taken on Feb. 14 and findings were confirmed on July 18 that Jane Doe was Boutilier-Gautreaux. 

Her family is planning a December memorial service in Breaux Bridge, according to her obituary. 

“All surviving family, friends, and those people involved in Mimi’s services and care are extremely happy she has been identified and closure has been given to all,” the family wrote. 

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