Van found with body inside had been lent to friend, owners say

WORCESTER, Mass. — Irene Barry and her partner, Jim, say they haven’t seen their blue van in six weeks.

"The van disappeared. And the van has been missing for about a month and a half. And then we got a call yesterday that they found the van and somebody’s body is inside of it," Irene Barry said.

The couple says they lent their van to a friend. They wouldn’t say his name but said the man disappeared shortly after.

"I’m hoping that he just dropped the van and somebody else was using it," Irene said. "I’m just hoping it’s someone else. I just hope it’s not him."

On Thursday, Jay Senior towed the van from an Auto Zone parking lot in Worcester.

"As soon as I got out of the vehicle, I knew something was wrong," he said. "It's a distinctive smell that we'll never forget. It's not your typical trash or rotting. This was beyond that."

He said he'll never forget that smell. He immediately called the police. Shortly thereafter, they pulled a body out of a storage container inside the van.

While Irene Barry holds on to hope the body is not their missing friend, Senior is thinking of the victim's loved ones whose lives will never be the same.

"Well you feel bad for the person that was discovered," he said. "The family. It’s a hard thing to go through."

The owner of the parking lot told Boston 25 News the van was parked in that spot for at least two weeks.

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