Two decomposed bodies have been discovered in the home of a former Rhode Island mayor, according to a report.
Woonsocket police told WJAR-TV that the bodies were found at the home of former Mayor Susan Menard on Monday. Police Chief Thomas Oates could not confirm whether Menard was one of the two deceased individuals discovered in the home. One of the bodies was female while the other was male.
Local outlets observed individuals in full hazmat suits entering the home to investigate on Monday. No criminal activity has yet been reported, but an investigation remains underway.
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
“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,” neighbor Lorraine Tessier told WJAR-TV. “Didn’t anybody check on them? Grandchildren? Son? What happened?”
According to WPRI-TV, police entered through a window of the home and found the woman in one room and the man in a different room.
WPRI reporter Kait Walsh also tweeted that, “Woonsocket Police Chief Oates said a neighbor started to smell something foul which made him realize he hadn’t seen anyone around the house in the past couple weeks and called police.”
Update: Woonsocket Police Chief Oates said a neighbor started to smell something foul which made him realize he hadn’t seen anyone around the house in the past couple weeks and called police. That’s when police forced entry and found a woman in one room and a man in another. https://t.co/Enf8ze559m
— Kait Walsh (@KaitLouiseWalsh) September 20, 2022
“There’s no outward signs of any foul play or any type of a struggle,” Oates said, according to NBC News. “We’re aware that both of these individuals, if they’re who we think they are, had medical issues that were pretty significant.”
The Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office is currently working to identify the bodies with an announcement pending, according to the outlet.
Menard served as the mayor of Woonsocket, a town less than 20 miles from the capital of Providence, from 1995 to 2009. She was the longest-serving mayor in the community’s history, as well as its first female mayor. Woonsocket’s population includes approximately 40,000 residents.
In 2017, Woonsocket Middle School was named in honor of Menard. The longtime mayor also previously served on the City Council and the Woonsocket School Committee.
Menard’s daughter reportedly passed away in 2009 in her Boston home at the age of 31. She left behind a husband and two sons, ages 2 and 4 at the time.