On Monday in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, which is in the northeast area of the state, on the border of Massachusetts, two decomposing bodies were found in the home of the town’s former Mayor Susan Menard.
Police said the bodies were an elderly male and female and were “severely decomposed,” WJAR reported.
Woonsocket’s Police Chief Thomas Oates was unable to confirm if Menard was one of the deceased bodies.
Oates told WPRI-TV that one of the neighbors called the police after noticing a smell. The neighbor also reportedly had not seen anyone in or around the house in several weeks.
When police arrived at the home, they forced entry through a back window and found the bodies in separate rooms, WPRI reported.
WJAR also spoke with neighbors who said that once the police opened the house, it smelled very strongly.
“I haven’t seen them in a while because my sister usually walks this all the time and on occasion, I’d walk with her around the neighborhood and I haven’t seen them in a while,” local resident Lorraine Tessier said.
“Didn’t anybody check on them? Grandchildren? Son? What happened?” she asked, WJAR reported.
WJAR had news crews at the scene and reported that those who entered the home went in with hazmat suits, masks and oxygen tanks.
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The bodies were sent to the medical examiner, and Oates said the cause of death will then be determined, WPRI reported.
Though the deaths are under investigation, WPRI reported that the house was locked and there was mail in the mailbox and, so far, Oates said that there is nothing that indicates crime.
Kait Walsh, a reporter at WPRI, also tweeted about the discovery of the bodies along with video footage of authorities taking the bodies and comments from a neighbor, Dennis Galipeau.
“I just think that it’s a sad thing to see that anyone would die in their own home and be unmissed for a certain amount of time,” Galipeau said.
Menard was recorded as the city’s longest-serving mayor to date.
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