Authorities have ruled that a Methuen woman’s death over the weekend was accidental.
"The medical examiner found no evidence of serious trauma that would have caused Mrs. DesRoche's death,” said Kathi Lavigne, the chief of police in Methuen. “She was not the victim of an assault, and foul play is not suspected.”
Barbara DesRoche’s body was found Saturday morning near the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall where she had worked as a bartender for two decades.
Lavigne said that witnesses saw the 69-year-old DesRoche fall and that the “injuries she suffered are consistent with witness statements that she fell.” However, police did not release this information and did not tell the public about these witnesses until this afternoon.
Police had ruled the death suspicious on Saturday.
“We are issuing a statement at this time to reassure the citizens of Methuen that there does not appear to be a threat to public safety,” Lavigne said.
Lavigne was not working on Friday night but family members have said she was at the hall socializing with friends that night.
The investigation is still open, however, as toxicology results have not come back yet. Lavigne did not elaborate on how DesRoche may have fallen.
John M. Guilfoil can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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