What we know so far about the death of Barbara Novaes in Medford

Police were called to the home of Barbara Novaes multiple times in the months before she died.

Police searched the area of 21 Emery St., where the body of Barbara Novaes was found. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

New details have emerged surrounding the death of a Medford woman Monday, but officials have not drawn any major conclusions yet.

The body of Barbara Novaes, a 61-year-old who lived on Emery Street, was found by police in a recycling bin underneath her back porch, according to District Attorney Marian Ryan. Novaes was first reported missing by her son Monday morning.


Now, police are increasing their patrols in the area, NBC 10 Boston reported.

On Tuesday, it was also reported that police had been called to the residence multiple times in the months leading up to the death of Novaes. Officers were called to the home twice in November of last year in response to suicidal threats. They responded to a call at that location on Feb. 3 in regards to a report of ID fraud. Finally, police were called to Novaes’ house on April 21 for a “disturbance,” CBS Boston reported.


Meanwhile, 7 News Boston is reporting that Novaes had recently applied for a restraining order against her husband, only to send an email the following week requesting to withdraw it.

At 6:44 Monday morning, officials say Novaes’ son called police, telling officers he had last seen his mother Sunday afternoon at home, according to a release. He also said that he believed she had gone to get her nails done. Novaes’ son had woken Monday to find the front door hanging open, he said. Novaes’ keys, phone and purse were inside the house and her car was in the driveway.

Her body was found on Monday at around 8:30 a.m. Novaes’ death is considered suspicious, Ryan said. However, Ryan added that there were no obvious signs of trauma on her body.

Novaes was a member of Grace Church in Medford, 7 News Boston reported.

“She loved the church, life too,” Laurie Marr, of Grace Church, told 7 News. “She was just that kind of person. I don’t know who would ever do this to her.”

Police were seen searching the area again on Tuesday. The investigation is ongoing.

Members of the public with any information should call Medford Police at 781-395-1212.


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