Constance Holminski Bassignani ID'd With New DNA Technology

The remains of a 65-year-old woman whose body was found in a wooded area in Franklin County have been identified thanks to new advancements in DNA testing. How she ended up there remains a mystery, but prosecutors have a person of interest. 

Constance Holminski Bassignani 

Constance Holminski Bassignani 

Photo Credit: Northwestern District Attorney's Office

Constance Holminski Bassignani was found not far off the road on Route 76 in Warwick on June 24, 1989. She had been living in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, with her husband, William Bassignani. 

Constance was last seen alive on Memorial Day in 1989. Soon after, her husband told friends she had moved back to her native Hawaii, but investigators could find no evidence that she relocated, the Northwestern District Attorney said during a Thursday, May 2, press conference. 

William Bassignani was considered a person of interest in the case, but he died in 1993. 

Only parts of Constance were found in the woods, nearly two hours away from her home. Police have been unable to identify her until now, but new advancements in DNA testing opened the door. 

Othram, a Texas-based firm, was hired to perform the DNA analysis after the company had helped identify the remains of Patricia Ann Tucker, whose body was found in November 1978 off a logging road in Granby. The company used genealogy data to find likely relatives of Constance, and police picked up the trail from there, the prosecutor said. 

“Once again, we are heartened to be able to identify and name the victim of a long-unsolved homicide,” said Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan. “The Massachusetts State Police and Northwestern District Attorney’s staff worked hard for this breakthrough. We hope it brings remaining family members one step closer to a sense of closure.”

Sullivan said he hopes the announcement will highlight the case and reignite the investigation. 

Police ask anyone with information to contact the State Police Detective Unit at the Northwestern District Attorney’s office at 413-512-5361 or through the prosecutor's website at

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