Police investigating after Medford woman found dead in recycling bin under her porch

MEDFORD, Mass. — Police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found outside her home in Medford.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan identified the woman as 61-year-old Barbara Novaes.

In a post to social media on Tuesday morning, Ryan said the investigation remains ongoing but offered few other details.

Novaes was reported missing by her adult son, who was living with her at her Emery Street home. He told police he had not seen his mother since the previous afternoon and thought she had gone to get her nails done.

He also told police he found Novaes’s keys, phone and purse and saw the front door open and her car in the driveway.

An officer found Novaes’s body in a recycling bin under the porch around 8:30 a.m. Monday, Ryan said.

Officers were back at the home on Tuesday morning.

Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn called Novaes a “beloved member of the community” and said she was active in her church.

In a Facebook post, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said Novaes had worked at Everett Co-operative Bank for many years and described her as “simply a wonderful person.”

“Barbara treated every person she encountered with kindness and compassion. She was simply a wonderful person who always had a nice thing to say and was always eager to help and support whomever needed it,” DeMaria wrote.

Please join me in sending our love and support to the family of Barbara Hovey Novaes. Sadly, Barbara tragically died...

Posted by Mayor Carlo DeMaria on Tuesday, May 24, 2022

There were no obvious signs of trauma on Novaes’s body, Ryan said, but investigators are treating her death as suspicious.

Ryan said she does not know whether neighbors should be concerned, but urged the public to continue to exercise caution.

Ryan asked anyone with information about the case to call Medford Police at 781-395-1212.

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