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Medical examiner seeks to identify bodies found in former Woonsocket mayor’s home

Former Woonsocket mayor Susan Menard.YWCA Rhode Island

The state medical examiner in Rhode Island worked Tuesday to identify two severely decomposed bodies found inside a home owned by former Woonsocket mayor Susan Menard.

Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates said there is no indication of foul play at the home at 2 Marian Lane.

“The house was secure and there was no sign of any struggle,” Oates said Tuesday. “The two residents both have a history of pretty significant medical issues.”

The bodies were found after a neighbor had not seen them for “a couple weeks” and noticed an odor coming from the home, he said.

The state medical examiner was conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death and “hopefully will be able to provide a definitive identification,” Oates said.

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Menard served as the mayor of Woonsocket from 1995 until 2009. She was the first woman to be elected as the city’s mayor and served longer than any other in Woonsocket’s history. Before becoming mayor, Menard served for a decade on the city council and four years on the school committee.

Todd Stinchfield, who lives across the street from the mayor’s house in the quiet, leafy neighborhood of single-family homes, described Menard as a “very nice lady” who mostly kept to herself. That was the case even when she was the longtime mayor of Woonsocket.

During her tenure, Stinchfield said, he did not have to bring constituent concerns to her — in fact, Marian Lane was usually the best-plowed street in the city, he said.

Stinchfield said he hadn’t seen Menard in some time.

Brian Amaral and Alexa Gagosz of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.