Remains found in Barnstead believed to be of woman missing since January

Ashley Turcotte (center)  with  a portrait she painted of the Barnstead police dog.

Ashley Turcotte (center) with a portrait she painted of the Barnstead police dog. Courtesy


Monitor staff

Published: 03-18-2024 5:18 PM

Human remains discovered Saturday morning are believed to be that of a 33-year-old Barnstead woman who has been missing since early January.

Around 70 searchers went out around 8:30 a.m. to look for any sign of Ashley Turcotte, or clues related to her disappearance, when just before 11 a.m., a team made up of New Hampshire National Guard volunteers and a rescue team of conservation officers with the state Fish and Game found remains believed to be Turcotte, according to a press release from the Fish and Game law enforcement division. Confirmation of identity is pending.

The remains were found about a half mile from where Turcotte’s vehicle was found when she went missing, the release said.

Turcotte was last seen at her home on Jan. 4, and her car was found parked in a town office lot with both her backpack and phone still inside.

While authorities didn’t share a cause or manner of death, the press release did encourage anyone who has mental health issues to contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Barnstead was known around town as an artist, and for gifting hand-painted pumpkins. She also painted a portrait of the Barnstead police dog.

Authorities had been using many resources in their search for Turcotte, including drones, trained dogs, and horse-mounted police from Manchester.

About a week into the search, Barnstead Police Chief Paul Poirier said authorities had reviewed surveillance footage, but didn't find anything helpful. 

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Along with the National Guard and conservation officers, members of the Pemi Valley, Lakes Region, and New England K9 search and rescue teams helped with the search.

Barnstead police and fire departments, Belknap County Sheriff’s Department, New Hampshire Red Cross also assisted.