Police: Westerly woman found dead at scene of house fire

South County

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are investigating after a woman was found dead in the basement of her Westerly home Monday night.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey tells Eyewitness News the body of 59-year-old Patricia Martell was discovered when crews responded to a fire at the home on Tum-A-Lum Circle.

Lacey said it’s possible the woman was dead before the fire broke out. The exact cause of her death is unclear at this time.

During the investigation, police learned the woman’s 22-year-old son, Scott Martell, was seen on neighbors’ Ring cameras leaving the home soon after the fire started, according to Lacey.

Police were able to locate the man by pinging his phone. Lacey said he had jumped off of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven, Conn. and was found unconscious by state troopers.

The man was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Lacey said the man was known to Westerly police and officers had visited the home several times before.

The house has been deemed a total loss and will ultimately be torn down, according to Lacey.

It’s unclear at this time if the woman’s son had anything to do with her death.

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