Death of woman found in Boston garage considered homicide

Crime scene tape was put up outside the East Boston home where the body of a woman was found Wednesday.
Crime scene tape was put up outside the East Boston home where the body of a woman was found Wednesday. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

While Vanessa Fyler’s 11-year-old son was at an outdoor festival for the Hugh Roe O’Donnell Elementary school in East Boston, homicide investigators were around the corner in a garage where the body of a young woman was found early Wednesday morning.

“I’m taking him home,” the 28-year-old mother said as she stood behind the police tape at the scene. “Every day it seems like there is something new here.”

Boston police said the body of a woman in her early 20s was found at about 8:50 a.m. in the garage at 54 Princeton St. The woman, who has not been identified, had “undetermined traumatic injuries,” officials said.


“Based on what we saw, we feel it is very suspicious circumstances,’’ police Superintendent Bernard O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke said crime scene technicians launched an extensive forensic examination Wednesday afternoon that would likely last several hours, and the body remained in the garage.

“It is going to be a very methodical update with our forensics team,” he said. “This is obviously a very serious circumstance.”

The Princeton Street home — which is located on a block of close residences — has been under construction for several months, according to neighbors.

Because the garage where the body was found contained construction materials, O’Rourke said, authorities reached out to the company to determine when workers were last in the structure. The police superintendent declined to name the company.

By about 2:30 p.m., the area near the home was still heavy with police activity. Officers interviewed residents, while a crime scene response truck remained outside the house. A few hours after officials entered the garage, investigators were seen looking inside a dumpster outside of the house.

Investigators cleared the scene just before 8 p.m.

The crime scene drew attention from East Boston residents throughout the day. Many people said they considered Princeton Street to be one of the safer blocks in East Boston, despite all the crime in the surrounding areas.


Dave Hill, 54, who lives on Princeton Street, said he believes the home where the woman was found has been vacant for about a year. Hill said he has not seen an investigation of this scale during the several years he has lived there.

“There’s been a lot of activity going on in Eagle Hill between gangs . . . but this is the first [police] activity on this particular block,” Hill said.

Christina Mallock, 70, lives in the Barnes School, an elderly housing facility located across the street from where the body was found. An area resident for eight years, Mallock said the neighborhood is usually quiet.

Mallock said she has seen people working on the house for the last few months.

“This is too close to home for me,” she said. “If what happened in Orlando makes you nervous, so does this.”

Police said they do not know exactly how long the victim was in the garage before construction workers found her Wednesday morning.

Mallock, along with other Princeton Street residents, said they did not hear anything out of the ordinary Tuesday night.

Jaimee Armstead, 21, who lives two houses down from where the body was found, said she did not hear anything suspicious, and only found out about what happened when a friend told her Wednesday morning.

“This is a quiet street,” she said. “In a way, if you hear anything during the day or at night, you just attribute it to the construction.”


Estefania Londono, 18, who has lived on Princeton Street for about a decade, said when she was home Tuesday night it was “so quiet outside.”

Londono said about five years ago police found another body in the alley across from her home. She said she has become more wary of the area.

“Obviously, at night in East Boston some things happen,” she said, “but it is fine here for the most part.”

The body of 39-year-old Julienne Corrao, a Gloucester resident and mother of three, was found between two buildings on Princeton Street in December 2009.

No one has been charged in connection with her death. Officials said they do not believe there is a connection between the 2009 incident and Wednesday’s investigation.

Trisha Thadani can be reached at