MEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Police are investigating after a 61-year-old Medford mother’s body was found in a recycling bin under her porch, leaving residents of the quiet neighborhood shaken.

“It’s pretty startling, to- and it’s sad. Because you don’t know,” said neighbor Leslie Kramer. “There’s all kinds of mysteries, all kinds of questions, and as a person who walks the neighborhood, you want people to be safe.”

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Barbara Novaes’s body was found under her Emery Street duplex Monday morning.

Her son had called the police Monday morning, reporting that he had last seen her Sunday afternoon, when he thought she left for a nail appointment. When he woke up Monday morning, he discovered she was missing. The front door of their home was standing open, his mother’s car was there, and he had found her keys, phone and purse, Ryan said. The DA’s office is investigating the death as suspicious.

Medford Police blocked off the backyard with crime scene tape, and sawed off part of a back gate to bag as evidence.

Another neighbor, Aubrey Vannase, said Novaes would often sit on her porch, and that she had just met Novaes a few weeks ago. “(It’s a) very nice safe neighborhood,” she said. “Devastating to hear.”

Police still don’t know who may be a suspect, and are asking people who live in the area to exercise caution and lock their doors and windows. They’re also asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious Sunday night or Monday morning or who may have surveillance footage to call them.

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