2 decomposed bodies found in home of a former Rhode Island mayor, police say

Two bodies have been found “in a lengthy stage of decomposition” in the home of former Rhode Island mayor Susan Menard, police said.

A neighbor called police shortly after 4 p.m. Monday saying he hadn’t seen the elderly couple who lived in the residence on Marian Lane in Woonsocket in about a week and a strong odor was coming from the home, Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates said. 

The residence belonged to Susan Menard, Oates said, Woonsocket’s longest serving mayor who was in office from 1995 to 2009, according to the city’s website.

Officers responded to the home and ended up forcing entry. Once inside, they located two people deceased, one male and one female. 

Oates said due to their state of decomposition, they couldn’t be positively identified.

Image: Police investigating home of Woonsocket mayor Susan Menard.
Police investigate at the home of former Woonsocket Mayor Susan Menard, where two severely decomposed bodies were found.WJAR

The remains are now with the medical examiner for identification, as well as to determine the manner of death.

“There’s no outward signs of any foul play or any type of a struggle,” Oates said. “We’re aware that both of these individuals, if they’re who we think they are, had medical issues that were pretty significant.”

Police would not confirm if Menard was one of the deceased.

Woonsocket, home to 43,000 people, is located about 20 miles northwest of Providence.

Woonsocket resident Lorraine Tessier questioned why it took so long for the bodies to be found.

“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,” Tessier said to NBC affiliate WJAR of Providence. “Didn’t anybody check on them? Grandchildren? Son? What happened?”

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