Massachusetts State Police & Northwestern District Attorney Team with Othram to Identify a 1989 Homicide Victim

After thirty-five years, a murdered woman whose remains were found scattered on the side of the road in Warwick, Massachusetts has been identified as 65-year-old Constance Holminski Bassignani.

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Published May 02, 2024 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In June 1989, the partial remains of an unidentified individual were found scattered over an embankment on the west side of Route 78 in Warwick, Massachusetts, just a mile and a half from the New Hampshire border. Investigators were called to the scene and collected evidence. Initially, the individual's sex could not be determined, but later anthropologists suggested that the remains were that of a female who was estimated to be between 21 and 53 years old at the time of her death. The woman's height and weight could not be determined and no identifying characteristics were available. The woman's manner of death was determined to be homicide.

In December 2014, details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP13193. Despite efforts to identify the woman, no leads yielded a match and the woman’s identity remained a mystery. She became known as Franklin County Jane Doe. For more than three decades, the murdered woman's identity remained a mystery.

In 2023, the Massachusetts State Police submitted skeletal remains to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas in hopes that advanced DNA testing could help to identify the woman. Othram scientists successfully developed a suitable DNA extract from the skeletal remains and then used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unidentified homicide victim. After successfully completing the process, Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile in a genetic genealogy search to develop investigative leads that were returned to investigators.

Using these new leads, a follow-up investigation was conducted, leading to genetic relatives of the woman. Reference samples were collected from these potential relatives and compared to the DNA profile of the unknown woman. This comparison confirmed the identity of Franklin County Jane Doe as Constance Holminski Bassignani, born in 1924 in Hawaii. At the time of her death, Constance had been living in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. She previously lived in Franklin, Massachusetts.

Now that we know Constance’s identity, who she was married to at the time she disappeared, and where she lived, we are hopeful there may be someone out there who knows something, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, that could help push this investigation forward.
-First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne

Constance Bassignani was last seen alive on Memorial Day weekend in 1989. Shortly after that, her husband, William Bassignani, told family and friends that she had moved back to Hawaii. Investigators found no evidence that Constance Bassignani ever moved back to Hawaii. Her family and friends did not hear from her again. Her husband, William Bassignani, who died in 1993, is considered a person of interest in the case.

The identification of Constance Holminski Bassignani represents the fourth case in the State of Massachusetts where officials have publicly identified an individual using technology developed by Othram. Most recently in Fairhaven, Keith Olson was identified four decades after being murdered. In 2023, Othram's technology assisted in the identification of Patricia Ann Tucker, who was known as "Granby Girl" for more than four decades.

Investigators ask anyone who may have any information about the case to call the State Police Detective Unit at the Northwestern District Attorney’s office at 413-512-5361. The public can also submit information through the Northwestern District Attorney’s website:

Help fund another case Your contributions pay for lab supplies and research tools

Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

2829 Technology Forest Blvd Suite 100, The Woodlands, Texas 77381

Michael works with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada on “unsolvable“ cases that can benefit from advanced DNA testing methods. He helps these agencies use cutting edge DNA sequencing and new forensic techniques to develop investigative leads for their cases.

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About Othram Inc.

Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at ... Read morerecovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches have failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit to learn how we can help you with your case. With anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.