Decomposing body found at home of former Rhode Island mayor is identified as the late lawmaker, 74

Decomposing body found at home of former Rhode Island mayor is identified as the late lawmaker, 74: Cops are working to ID male corpse also found inside property and say foul play isn’t suspected

  • The two bodies were found severely decomposed after neighbors did not see the pair for more than a week and a strong odor began to emanate from the house 
  • Menard was the city of Woonsocket’s longest serving mayor; she was in office from 1995-2009
  • Causes of death have not yet been determined, but police say both individuals had ‘pretty significant’ medical issues 

One of two severely decomposed bodies found at the home of former Rhode Island mayor Susan Menard earlier this week was confirmed to be the former politician.

Menard, a Democrat who served as Woonsocket mayor between 1995 and 2009, was 74 at the time of her death.

Authorities are still working to identify the second, which was that of a male also in his mid-70s.

Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates said that the department is aware that both deceased individuals had ‘pretty significant’ medical issues.

He hasn’t shared any further indication as to who the second deceased person may be. It is unclear if Menard was married, or if she had a partner at the time of her death.  

She was the city’s longest serving leader of the 134-year-old city, according to the history on its website, and only the second elected female mayor in the state’s history.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island former Mayor Susan Menard (D) was found dead in her home with a companion earlier this week

Woonsocket, Rhode Island former Mayor Susan Menard (D) was found dead in her home with a companion earlier this week

The cause of death for the former politician has not been determined by foul play is not suspected

The cause of death for the former politician has not been determined by foul play is not suspected

Neighbors called the authorities after they had not seen the couple for a week and a strong odor began emanating from the house

Neighbors called the authorities after they had not seen the couple for a week and a strong odor began emanating from the house

Two bodies were found at the scene, one of Susan Menard, and the other an unidentified male in his mid-70s

Two bodies were found at the scene, one of Susan Menard, and the other an unidentified male in his mid-70s

Officials said no foul play was suspected and that both individuals reportedly had a history of health issues

Officials said no foul play was suspected and that both individuals reportedly had a history of health issues

The city of 43,000 people is located about 20 miles northwest of Providence.

Police were reportedly notified of the bodies Monday afternoon, when a neighbor reported that he had not seen the couple for more than a week.

A strong odor was also emanating from the home, according to Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates.

A neighbor, Freddie Herrera, also said that he noticed ‘a lot of flies around the windows,’ which ultimately signaled to him it was time to make a call. 

Causes of death for both individuals are still pending, but foul play is not suspected and authorities found ‘no outward signs’ of any sort of struggle. 

Further details of this issues have not been share. 

Current Woonsocket mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt said, ‘On behalf of the residents of the city and employees of the city of Woonsocket, we extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends.’

She said Menard will be remembered for her ‘strong personality’ and ‘desire to lead.’

Menard had a daughter who unexpectedly died in 2009 at the age of 31, and a brother, who predeceased her by just a few days. He died Saturday at the age of 81. 

Menard was Woonsocket's longest serving mayor and only the second woman elected to be a mayor in the state of Rhode Island

Menard was Woonsocket’s longest serving mayor and only the second woman elected to be a mayor in the state of Rhode Island

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