Mother’s body found in recycling bin behind her home, Massachusetts prosecutor says

Matt Rourke/AP
·2 min read

A mother’s body was found in a recycling bin behind her home nearly two hours after she was reported missing, according to a Massachusetts prosecutor.

“This is being investigated as a suspicious death,” the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office said in a May 23 news release. The woman was discovered that day without any “obvious signs of trauma.”

Barbara Novaes, 61, of Medford, was found dead in the recycling container located underneath a porch behind her duplex where she lived with her son, according to the release and a news conference held by the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors are waiting to learn of Novaes’ cause of death after an autopsy is performed, District Attorney Marian Ryan said.

Novaes’ son called 911 around 6:44 a.m. to report her missing on May 23 and said that he hadn’t seen her since the afternoon of May 22, according to the news release. He also said he believes she went out for a nail appointment when he last saw her.

“He also reported that the door of the home was open, and that he had located her keys, phone and purse and that her car was in the driveway,” the district attorney’s office noted.

After police arrived at the duplex, they found Novaes’ body around 8:30 a.m., the release said.

She was known to be “a beloved member of the Medford community and a very active parishioner at Grace Church,” Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said at the news conference.

She added that Novaes touched the lives of many in the community.

Neighbor Aubrey Vannasse told CBS Boston that she “moved to (the) area specifically because it is very safe.”

“So it is a bit shocking,” she said of Novaes’ death.

Medford is roughly five miles northwest of Boston.

Mother and 25-year-old son found dead behind their apartment, North Carolina cops say

Woman who vanished in 1978 is found dead in submerged car, New Hampshire cops say

Beloved pastor found burned, stabbed in van after husband tracks phone, GA cops say

Woman’s body found in shallow grave — 18 years after she vanished, CA officials say