Louise Pietrewicz, the Cutchogue woman who was missing for more than 51 years before her remains were discovered in Southold last month, died from a series of gunshot wounds to the torso, the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office has told her family.
Investigators found multiple bullet holes in the blouse she was wearing when her boyfriend, William Boken, buried her in his basement. Bullets were recovered after her remains were discovered March 19 by detectives searching nearly seven feet beneath the basement floor, the family said.
“He shot her three times, right in the belly,” said Sandy Blampied, Ms. Pietrewicz’s daughter. “I was so upset when I heard this.”
Ms. Blampied said she was told the official cause of death is “homicidal violence, gunshot wounds to the torso.”
A Suffolk County police spokesperson confirmed the cause of death, but said the investigation is ongoing and declined to answer questions about the weapon used.
Ms. Blampied said the evidence recovered last month has led to further speculation her mother may have been pregnant at the time she was murdered.
In addition to her blouse, police recovered a jacket, a slip, leggings and a garter belt that was on backwards, Ms. Blampied said.
“She thought that was very odd,” Ms. Blampied said of the doctor she spoke with at the ME’s office. “But the bullet holes lined up with it on backwards.”
A vintage clothing expert has been consulted during the investigation, Ms. Blampied said.
“She said back then when women were pregnant they would wear the garter belt backwards [for comfort],” Ms. Blampied added.
The remains of Ms. Pietrewicz, who was last seen alive on Oct. 6, 1966, are being released today to the care of Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue, where Ms. Blampied and her cousin, Barbara Swislosky, plan to visit.
“I need to do it for myself,” Ms. Blampied said of viewing her mother’s remains. “It’s something I have to do.”
Ms. Pietrewicz will be cremated before a memorial service at the funeral home from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.
Mr. Boken, a police officer who resigned from the Southold Town Police Department one day after Ms. Pietrewicz disappeared, died in Queens in 1982.
The investigation into Ms. Pietrewicz’s disappearance was reopened late last year after The Suffolk Times launched its own investigation into the case. The paper released a special report, along with a three-part documentary, in October. A fourth installment will be released later this year.
During interviews within the past two months with Southold Police Det. Sgt. John Sinning and former Southold Detective Joseph Conway Jr., Judith Terry of Southold, the late Mr. Boken’s former wife, directed police to the basement of the home, where she said a body wrapped in burlap was buried by Mr. Boken soon after Ms. Pietrewicz’s family reported her missing.
Ms. Pietrewicz was 38 at the time she disappeared. Her official date of death is March 19, 2018, the day her remains were discovered, the family said.
Correction: The date of death was initially listed as March 18. It is March 19.