WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The elderly woman found “severely decomposed” inside a Woonsocket home earlier this week has been identified as the city’s former mayor.
The Rhode Island Department of Health confirmed that the one of the two bodies found inside the Marian Lane home Monday evening was former Mayor Susan Menard.
The other body has not yet been identified, though investigators have concluded that it is a man.
Officers conducted a welfare check on Menard after her neighbor reported smelling a foul odor coming from the home.
When they forced their way into the house via a first-floor window, they found Menard’s body in one room and the man’s in another.
No foul play is suspected in either of the deaths, though the investigation is ongoing. The state medical examiner is still working to determine their cause of deaths.
Black bunting was placed over Menard’s mayoral portrait in Woonsocket City Hall Wednesday.
“On behalf of our City, I offer our deepest condolences to her family and friends, and I want them to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers,” Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, the city’s current mayor said. “Mayor Menard has left an enduring legacy in Woonsocket through her many years of public service, and she will also be remembered for her pioneering achievements in advancing the role of women in Rhode Island municipal politics being only the second elected female mayor in the history of the state.”
Menard was not only the city’s first female mayor, she was also its longest-serving mayor, holding office from 1995 until 2009. Her daughter, 31-year-old Carrie Pilavin, died unexpectedly back in April 2009, according to her obituary.