WELLS, ME (WGME) — The body of a retired Williamsville public schools music teacher was found inside her Maine mobile home more than two years after she died. Police made the discovery last Friday.
The white mobile home blended in with the other houses on Atkins Lane in Wells until last Friday, when police found its owner, Lucie McNulty, a Buffalo native, dead inside.
They say she’d been there for two and a half years.
“It’s unfortunate, but it does happen from time to time, usually not to this extent,” Detective Joe Labier, Wells Police Department, said.
Labier says her body was found on the floor of her bedroom. The medical examiner determined she died of a heart condition.
“It became apparent nobody had really seen her in over two years,” Labier said.
Neighbors say they’re shocked and saddened. Only two people on the street had ever met McNulty.
They say at first she was friendly and social, but gradually stopped talking to anyone, only leaving her house to drive to the mailbox each day. Eventually, the pile of mail was a sign of something wrong.
“I believe there was two welfare checks done after she was already passed away,” Labier said.
Labier says police knocked on the door, interviewed neighbors and tried to see through the curtain-drawn windows, but without signs of foul play or knowledge of a medical condition, they couldn’t just go in.
“I think their Christmas card got returned and they wouldn’t answer the phone, that by itself, that doesn’t really give you the suspicion to break into somebody’s house,” Labier said.
Recently, the town put a lien on McNulty’s house for not paying property taxes the past two years. Labier says with that and no sign of McNulty for so long, they had reason to take a look inside.
“Our victim, she had multiple possessions, there was things literally stacked from floor to ceiling,” Labier said, although other police officials described her as a “hoarder.”
They learned she had no family and may have moved to Maine to be alone. Her former coworkers and students, however, say she had a knack for teaching.
One student described her as, “Strict, but fair.” Yet her former coworkers say she had the ability to coach her students to create a unique sound that only she could achieve.
Officials were able to locate her will. An only child, McNulty named only two people in her will — both former teachers she worked with in New York.
Police are working with McNulty’s attorney to see that her final wishes are carried out.