Officials in Rhode Island made a grisly discovery while searching the home of the former mayor of Woonsocket. A neighbor called police on Monday (September 19), complaining of a horrific smell coming from the house of Susan Menard, who served as the city’s mayor from 1995 to 2009.
Officers had to force their way into the home and found two decomposing bodies inside. They said that a female body was found in one room, and the body of a male was found in another.
The stench was so pungent that officers had to wear hazmat suits and use oxygen tanks when they went inside. Officials said the bodies had decomposed too much to positively identify them at the time. The bodies were taken by the medical examiner, who will try to determine their cause of death and identify them.
Investigators do not believe foul play was involved and are continuing to investigate the deaths.
“There’s no outward signs of any foul play or any type of a struggle,” Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas 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.”
Oates refused to say if Menard is believed to be one of the deceased.
Neighbors spoke with WJAR and said they hadn’t seen Menard in a few weeks.
“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,” Lorraine Tessier told the news station. “Didn’t anybody check on them? Grandchildren? Son? What happened?”