Authorities have launched a homicide investigation after the body of a 49-year-old woman was found early Thursday morning inside an SUV alongside Worthen Road in Lexington, officials confirmed Friday.
The victim, Shen Cai, was discovered behind the wheel of a white Honda CRV not far from Lexington High School after she was last seen on Tuesday evening, according to a statement from the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.
Lexington police responded to an emergency call placed by Cai’s friends around 12:30 a.m. Thursday after a search effort found her unresponsive in the SUV on the side of the road, officials said.
Cai, a Lexington resident, was pronounced dead at the scene near Waltham Street, the district attorney’s office said.
“Investigators observed some suspicious trauma to the body at the scene and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner took possession of the body in order to determine the manner of death, which was subsequently ruled a homicide,” the statement says.
Authorities learned Cai was last seen by her husband and friends, who grew concerned Wednesday after she did not appear for two scheduled appointments and after she told them earlier she worried about her safety, according to officials.
“After looking for her for several hours, they located her in the vehicle on Worthen Road and contacted police,” the district attorney’s office said.
The preliminary investigation indicates the incident does not appear to be random, and authorities said there is no present threat to the community.
Lexington police, the district attorney’s office, and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the district attorney’s office are continuing to investigate.