Skeletal remains were found in an outbuilding next to this home at 196 Poland Spring Road in Casco. A family member found the bones while cleaning out their deceased father’s residence. Google Earth photo

Skeletal remains discovered in a shed near a home in Casco last spring belong to the missing daughter of the man who had lived in the house until he died last March.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the remains were those of Denise Scott Ramsey, daughter of Douglas Scott Sr., according Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

“I can confirm that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has informed us that the skeletal remains in Casco are that of Denise Ramsey and that the cause of death is pending further study,” Moss said in an email Thursday night. The State Police are investigating the death.

Ramsey lived at her father’s home at 196 Poland Spring Road, according to records filed in Cumberland County Probate Court.

Douglas Scott Sr., who died on March 4 of COVID-19 complications without leaving a will or other instructions, had four sons and a daughter, court records show. Family members had not seen or heard from Ramsey in “quite a while,” according to an affidavit for diligent search filed by one of the sons, Douglas Scott Jr.

In the affidavit, Douglas Scott Jr. said the family had checked with many people on Facebook about his sister’s whereabouts and had been unable to reach her by phone for a year and a half. She was reported as a missing person to the Social Security Administration and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office on March 22, according to the affidavit.

Douglas Scott Jr. said in a brief phone interview Thursday night that he discovered his sister’s body in the shed on May 8 while cleaning it out.

“I’m the one who found her,” Scott said. He was pretty certain at the time that the remains belonged to his sister, but he didn’t say anything publicly while authorities conducted tests and continued their investigation.

“I’m just glad that they finally released that it was her,” he said. “It’s a big weight off all of our shoulders.”

State Police detectives called on Marcella Sorg, a research professor at the University of Maine and the primary forensic anthropologist for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island, to help determine the identity and cause of death.

Sorg declined to talk about the case when she was contacted by the Press Herald in May. But in cases where the remains are skeletal, badly burned or in an advanced state of decomposition, a forensic anthropologist is often called in to do an examination.

As part of the probate process, a public notice was published in the Portland Press Herald in late March trying to locate Denise Ramsey. The notice was labeled “missing person.” It said her last known location was Casco and gave a phone number to contact one of her brothers.

Ramsey’s daughter, Danielle McNaughton, told WGME-TV on Thursday that she helped authorities identify her mother through a distinctive tattoo on her ankle. She said she is planning to hold a celebration of life for her mother at some future date.

Attempts to reach McNaughton Thursday night were unsuccessful.

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