The investigation into the disappearance and death of a Portland woman focused Monday on several wooded acres in the Waldo County town of Northport.
Authorities returned to the property where the partial skeletal remains of 24-year-old Elena Lozada were discovered on April 17. Lozada’s mother reported her missing in July because her daughter had been out of touch for an unusually long time.
Members of the Portland Police Department, Maine State Police, the Maine Warden Service and the state Medical Examiner’s Office were on the site off Route 52 on Monday, searching for additional evidence, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Police dogs were used in the search.
Lozada’s mother, Carrie Cronkite of Westfield, said she doesn’t know of any connection her daughter might have had to the Northport area.
Lozada was 8 when she, her mother and her siblings moved to Maine from Queens, N.Y., after her parents divorced. The family lived in Presque Isle for about seven years and then moved to nearby Westfield.
Lozada had lived in Greater Portland since she was 17, when her mother sent her into a drug treatment program.
Lozada started showing signs of depression when she was 13, Cronkite said, and began self-medicating with street drugs a few years later, after uneven results with therapy. Lozada left her rehabilitation program in Gorham early, after she turned 18.
She made other attempts to get off drugs. She moved back to Westfield in 2009 but moved out after two months, her mother said.
“Elena was a wonderful person. She loved to laugh, she loved to smile. She didn’t like being the way she was. When she moved home two years ago, in April 2009, she said, ‘Mommy, I’m going to get myself together,’ ” Cronkite said.
Before she disappeared in July, Lozada spent two weeks in a hospital rehabilitation program. After her discharge, Cronkite said, she went for a time to an outpatient program but wouldn’t enter a residential program.
During one of their frequent phone calls, Cronkite said, she could tell from Lozada’s voice that she had relapsed.
Cronkite said it was after Lozada’s disappearance that she learned her daughter had been advertising as an escort on Craigslist.
Police have said there’s no indication that Lozada’s death is connected to that of Megan Waterman, a Scarborough resident who was one of four prostitutes whose bodies were found near a beach in Long Island, N.Y., in December.
Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]