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Relative of long-missing woman says remains were found in pond last fall

  • Police search for missing person Trish Haynes in Grafton, N.H., on Aug. 28, 2018. Haynes' remains were later found in Grants Pond in Grafton. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Trish Haynes (Family photograph)



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, July 11, 2019

GRAFTON — While authorities publicly revealed the fate of a long-missing New Hampshire woman just this week, her family was told months ago that her remains had been located and she was deceased, according to one of her relatives.

Trish Haynes’ remains were discovered inside a washer-dryer set that was pulled from Grants Pond off Wild Meadow Road in Grafton in early September, her great-aunt Valorie Haynes Alvarez said in an interview on Thursday.

Family members were informed by the Attorney General’s Office more than six months ago that Haynes was dead, but they were told not to disclose that information to avoid compromising the investigation, Haynes Alvarez, of Franklin, N.H., said.

Since then, the family has been told only limited facts about the case, she said.

The Attorney General’s Office issued a news release Wednesday announcing that Haynes’ remains had been recovered in Grafton and that an autopsy had determined her death was a homicide.

It was the first public development in the case since last August, when officials asked for the public’s help in locating Haynes, who was last seen alive about a year ago.

In its statement, the Attorney General’s Office did not say when or where Haynes’ remains were found, and officials declined to answer questions about the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

WMUR-TV first reported the details provided by Haynes Alvarez on Wednesday.

Reached on Thursday, Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin said there wasn’t much he could add publicly.

He declined to say whether authorities had identified any suspects in Haynes’ death.

He asked that anyone who saw Haynes before she disappeared to come forward with that information.

“We don’t typically name suspects. That’s all I’m going to say at this point,” he said.

Haynes Alvarez said she is speaking out about what the family has been told because she feels the investigation has dragged on for too long without answers.

She said she wants justice for her niece, and that the family will hold a rally at the Statehouse in September to bring awareness to the case.

“We do not want this case to go cold,” she said. “I’m rattling the cages.”

Authorities last August were seen searching a Grafton property for signs of Haynes, who previously had lived in North Woodstock, N.H., and had been missing for about two months. She was last seen in Grafton and Danbury, N.H., in late June or early July 2018, the Attorney General’s Office said at that time.

The Grafton property searched in late August — 225 Main St. — is owned by Douglas Carpenter, who lives out of state.

In an interview on Thursday, Carpenter said Ashley and Doug Smith Jr. were tenants of the house at the time the property was searched, and he said Haynes lived with them for a period of time last year.

The Smiths no longer rent the house, he said.

Haynes Alvarez said her niece lived with the Smiths from January 2018 until she disappeared because she was trying to escape an abusive relationship. Haynes knew Ashley Smith from high school, she said.

Doug Smith Jr. has an extensive criminal record and is a registered sex offender following a felonious sexual assault conviction in 2009, according to state records. Other convictions include criminal threatening, burglary and assault, those records indicate. He currently lives in Warner, N.H.

Attempts to reach the Smiths on Thursday were unsuccessful.

Haynes Alvarez called Haynes, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a “sweet girl” who was a “little misguided.”

“She was always looking for love in the wrong places and finding it,” she said. “One bad relationship after another.”

Haynes was raised by her grandparents, including grandmother Sandi Tewksbury, who declined to comment on Thursday.

A “rally to demand justice for Trish Haynes” backed by some of her family is slated to take place in Concord from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 6, according to the Facebook page for the event.

Anyone with information about Haynes’ disappearance and death is asked to call New Hampshire State Police at 603-223-4381.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.