By Capt. W. Russell Webster
Posted Nov. 23, 2014 @ 2:01 am
It was a necessary message to receive, but dreadful all the same.
In early August 2014, the Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s office reached out to Ellen (Hokanson) Ouellette through Facebook to ask for family DNA that could help identify her missing son, Billy. It was the third time that the ME’s office had contacted Ouellette to assist with an identification of human remains since her son, Billy, 19, and ex-husband “Hokey” Hokanson, 44, Billy’s father, had gone missing in a terrible sea tragedy off Martha’s Vineyard March 25, 1990.
According to Ouellette, “Every morning for the past 24 years I never knew if it would be the day I got another call saying they had found my son's remains … and possibly another disappointment. When I didn't get a call, all I would say was maybe ‘tomorrow.'" When asked about the latest inquiry from the ME’s office, Ouellette remarked, "I can't do this again, what am I going to do, it was just as hard to absorb (this time) as it was the other two times. Will he finally be coming home?"