The woman whose skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area in Boston more than 20 years ago has been identified as a Fitchburg woman, and police and prosecutors in both jurisdictions are working jointly to determine the circumstances leading to her death.
Milagros Alvarado, pictured in the family photo above, was last seen alive at the age of 37 in Fitchburg, where she resided, in June of 1994. Two months later, Metropolitan District Commission workers found her badly-decomposed body in the Stony Brook Reservation in the Hyde Park section of Boston, with no identification or other clues to her identity. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Investigators at the time scoured missing persons reports, circulated descriptions of her clothing and presumed appearance in life, conducted a dental examination, and entered the pertinent facts of the discovery in various nationwide databases, all to no avail. In March of 1995, with no known family to take custody of her remains, she was buried as “Jane Doe” in Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park – just a mile away from where her remains were discovered.
In 2014, using federal grant money earmarked for cold case investigations, the Boston Police Unsolved Squad and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office sought to exhume the unidentified remains for DNA testing in hopes that identifying her could help to identify her killer. The exhumation was allowed and Boston Police criminalists extracted biological material from which they developed a DNA profile.
That DNA profile was submitted to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System through the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. Last week, police and prosecutors were informed of a familial link to samples separately provided by members of Alvarado’s family late last year.
“This identification evidences the commitment of the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office to seek justice for the victims and survivors of homicide,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. “I commend the work of those involved in this case and hope that this new information brings us one step closer to solving this crime.”
Because Alvarado was last seen alive in Fitchburg and the circumstances of her death remain unknown, Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors are working collaboratively with Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early, the State Police Detective Unit assigned to his office, and the Fitchburg Police Department on the investigation into her homicide.
“For more than 20 years, Ms. Alvarado’s family was waiting and wondering if they would ever learn what became of her,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said. “Today they can at least give her the dignity of a burial under her true name. And with the public’s help, we hope one day to give them the satisfaction of seeing justice done on her behalf.”
Anyone with information on Alvarado’s death – no matter how minor or peripheral it may appear – is asked to contact the Boston Police Homicide Unit at 617-343-4470 or the Worcester County State Police Detective Unit at 508-832-9124.
Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.