Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua’s alleged assailant found dead; police say death not suspicious

A woman who allegedly assaulted Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua last week was found dead in her Methuen home Tuesday, but police and prosecutors said the death was not suspicious and did not appear to have any connection to the alleged assault.

Around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Methuen police found Michelle Mitchell, 49, dead in her home on Lowell Street, Police Lieutenant Mike Pappalardo said today. There was no evidence of foul play, but investigators are conducting an autopsy, he said.

Mitchell had been summonsed to a clerk magistrate’s hearing this week where authorities planned to press charges for allegedly assaulting Lantigua, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.


The assault allegedly occurred Saturday night outside a Lawrence liquor store during a campaign event for Lantigua, according to a police report.

Mitchell allegedly smacked Lantigua’s arm in an attempt to knock a glass of coconut water out of his hand and then yelled at him, according to the report.

Witnesses told police they observed Mitchell yell at Lantigua, though none of them said they saw her touch him. She told police that she had not touched the mayor, but had just been trying to peel the label off a bag he held in his hand, according to the report.

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