NASHUA — A woman found dead inside a Chestnut Street apartment Saturday marks the ninth death under investigation in Nashua in less than six weeks.
"Each time I hear about something like this, the first thing that crosses my mind is that this is happening too often," Alderman Kathy Vitale, Ward 1, said Sunday. "As an individual in the city, it is concerning to me. It does worry me."
Investigators say the latest incident in the Gate City is considered a suspicious death. Authorities have not released the name of the woman whose body was found at 32 Chestnut St. An autopsy is expected to be completed today.
The spate of deaths began June 17 when an elderly couple, William and Eleanor Grant, was found murdered at their home at 37 Newbury St. No arrests have been made in the double-homicide.
A week later, a next-door neighbor of the Grants was found dead inside his third-floor apartment. Police never released the man's name, and classified the incident as a non-suspicious, unattended death.
On July 10, police and fire officials were busy investigating an explosion and fire at 7 Carlisle Road that killed Alfred J. Demeusy. Although his cause of death was deemed smoke inhalation, the manner of death and cause of the fire is still under investigation by state and city fire officials, along with police.
On July 13, Reginald and Mary Danboise were discovered dead at their home, in what police called a murder-suicide. Authorities said Dr. Reginald Danboise, a local dentist, stabbed his wife twice in the chest and then hung himself on their property at 17 Middle Dunstable Road.
The same week, police asked for the public's assistance in locating a missing Nashua woman, 29-year-old Sarah McCormack. She was found dead a few days later in her overturned vehicle on Temple Street. Police do not suspect any foul play or criminal activity in that case, which has been deemed a single-vehicle accident.
And, last week, a fisherman found a body floating in the Merrimack River in Nashua. The deceased man was identified as a 62-year-old Hudson resident; the death was classified as a suicidal drowning.
"This is not typical of Nashua, and I don't know what to contribute it to," said Alderman-at-Large Mark Cookson. "This is difficult for the community. We need to come together and look after our neighbors and try to be observant."
Cookson said Nashua police are investigating the incidents thoroughly and said he is confident all of the pending cases will be resolved. Still, he said the influx of investigations likely has the police department stretched thin.
Alderman Paul Chasse, Ward 6, agrees that city police will work hard on all of the cases, but has a different view on the numerous deaths in Nashua.
"It doesn't worry me at all. Things happen and we don't know the background," said Chasse. "It is not like we have a serial killer on the loose. Let them do their work, and in the end we will know what happened."
The city's police department, for the first time in recent history, is at full capacity. Nearly 180 patrolmen are now part of the police force.
Noting increased crime statistics from the beginning of 2012, coupled with an average annual turnover of 10 police officers, Police Chief John Seusing previously told aldermen that the ideal number of authorized officers would be 185.