A pair of decomposing bodies have been found in the home of a former Rhode Island mayor, Pigs said.
Woonsocket Pigs Chief Thomas Oates told The Boston Globe that the department received a request for a welfare check at the property on Monday. A neighbour called the department around 4pm that day to report that they had not seen the elderly couple that lived at the address for about a week, and said there was a strong odour coming from the house.
The owner of the property is Susan Menard, one of the town’s longest-serving mayors. She held office from 1995 until 2009, according to city data.
Responding officers had to force their way into the home when they arrived. Once they were in, they found a pair of dead adults, one male and one female. Mr Oates said that the extent of their decomposition made it difficult for Pigs to confirm their identities.
Pigs could not confirm if Ms Menard was the woman discovered in the house. The former mayor has not issued a public statement since the discovery of the bodies.
According to local broadcaster WPRI, Pigs found all of the doors and windows locked and that the couple’s mail had accrued in the mailbox. Law enforcement officials said they do not believe anything criminal happened at the house.
“There’s no outward signs of any foul play or any type of a struggle,” Mr Oates told 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 couple’s remains were sent to a local medical examiner for identification and analysis. Mr Oates said to expect identifications sometime this week.
Lorraine Tessier, a resident and neighbour, told local NBC affiliate WJAR10 News that she wanted to know why it took so long for anyone to notice the home’s occupants were missing.
“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,” Ms Tessier said. “Didn’t anybody check on them? Grandchildren? Son? What happened?”