Former Rhode Island mayor found dead in her home

Officials said that they have not finalized the identity of a second body discovered in the residence.

A portrait of former mayor Susan Menard in Woonsocket City Hall. Of the 17 portraits hanging in the room where the council meets, Menard’s is the only woman — the city's first female mayor. Brian Amaral/The Boston Globe

One of the bodies found in the home of former Rhode Island mayor Susan Menard was hers, the state medical examiner confirmed Wednesday. 

Medical officials said that they have not finalized the identity of a second body discovered Monday night. 

“The causes of death for these individuals are still pending,” a release said.

Woonsocket police responded to Menard’s Marian Lane home Monday afternoon after a neighbor reported a strong odor coming from the residence. Both bodies were found “severely decomposed,” police chief Thomas Oates said Tuesday. 

Police do not suspect criminal activity of any kind. Oates told NBC News that officers who responded to the home found “no outward signs of any foul play or any type of struggle.” The two bodies were found in different parts of the house.


Menard was Woonsocket’s longest-serving mayor, from 1995 to 2009. She also was the first woman to hold the position. 

The former mayor lived with her longtime boyfriend, Dan Grabowski. The pair were in their 70s and were dealing with health problems, according to the Globe.

The town of Woonsocket mourned Menard Wednesday. Officials laid a black drape over Menard’s portrait in city hall, and citizens created a memorial on the steps of her home.


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