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Police have found two bodies “in a lengthy stage of decomposition” in the home of former Democrat Rhode Island mayor Susan Menard.
Reports suggest that authorities discovered the decomposing bodies of an elderly man and woman in the home.
The deceased were “severely decomposed” when they were discovered in the Woonsocket home on Monday, according to WJAR.
Neighbors told WJAR that authorities entered the home in full hazmat suits and that there was supposedly a strong stench stemming from the home as soon as they opened the front door.
“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 all around the neighborhood, and I haven’t seen them in a while,” Lorraine Tessier, a longtime resident of Woonsocket, told WJAR. “Didn’t anybody check on them? You know? Grandchildren? Son? What happened?”
The property is reportedly the home of Menard, the longest-serving mayor of Woonsocket who was in office from 1995 to 2009, according to the city’s website.
As of Wednesday morning, it’s unclear whether Menard is one of the two bodies discovered at the property. There are reportedly no indications of criminal behavior at this point in the investigation.
Medical examiners are attempting to identify the two bodies given how “badly decomposed” they were when authorities arrived.
Happening now: Police in #Woonsocket have a home on Marian Lane blocked off with yellow tape — where two bodies were found “severely decomposed” inside, according to the police chief. An investigation is now underway.
— Kayla Fish (@KaylaFishTV) September 19, 2022
The Rhode Island Medical Examiners Office is trying to determine the identities of two bodies found in the home of former Woonsocket Mayor Susan Menard. https://t.co/KbR6QuCya6
— Providence Journal (@projo) September 20, 2022
Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates spoke with reporters and identified the deceased as an “elderly male and female.”
“Police cruisers were seen parked outside the home Monday evening, and 12 News was there as the state medical examiner removed the bodies from the residence. Oates told 12 News that a neighbor started to smell something foul which made him realize he hadn’t seen anyone around the house in the past couple of weeks, so he contacted police,” WPRI reported.
“Police made a forced entry through a rear window on the first floor and found the woman in one room and the man in another,” the outlet added. “The house was secured and mail was stacked up in the mailbox, so at this time there is no indication of foul play, according to Oates.”
“A Democrat, Menard was first elected to the School Committee in 1981 and later served 10 years on the City Council, including as president,” the Providence Journal reported.
“In April 2009, Menard’s daughter died unexpectedly in her Newton, Massachusetts, home. Carrie Pilavin, 31, was married with two young sons, ages 2 and 4,” the outlet added.