The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld the six-year sentence given to a Maine woman who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of her newborn daughter in 1985.

Lee Ann Daigle Photo courtesy of Maine State Police

Lee Ann Daigle, 60, originally of northern Maine and a longtime New Hampshire resident, pleaded guilty in April 2023 to manslaughter for the death of her daughter, whom Daigle abandoned in a cold gravel pit in Frenchville immediately after giving birth in December 1985.

The case went unsolved for decades, but DNA technology eventually led Maine State Police to Daigle.

During her sentencing in June 2023, Daigle said she hadn’t realized her newborn was alive after she gave birth. Her attorneys suggested it was a “cryptic pregnancy,” and that neither Daigle nor those closest to her realized she was pregnant. Daigle had only pulled over that night because she thought she needed to use the restroom, her previous attorneys stated.

“If I had known she was alive, I would’ve given her the best chance of survival, after providing herself and myself medical aid,” Daigle said during the sentencing hearing last year. Her attorneys had also said that in 1985, Daigle was experiencing a “cryptic pregnancy,” or pregnancy denial.

Daigle was given a 16-year sentence but was only ordered to serve six years behind bars and three years of probation. Her earliest release date is November 2026.

The high court did not issue a written ruling explaining its decision to affirm the six-year sentence.

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