Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty moved quickly this week to dispel rumors that additional bodies had been found in town, and criticism that public officials had not acted quickly enough in investigating the case.
Just one week after first reporting that a badly decomposed body had been found beneath the rear porch of a home at 429 Winthrop Street, Chief Delehanty told the Sun Transcript that the department is confident that they have captured the man responsible for murdering and dumping that body, and lauded town officials and detectives that worked competently and quickly to bring the case to a close.
“First of all, there is no truth to the rumor that another body had been found in the marsh” said Chief Delehanty, blaming a local blog for spreading the false information. “This was a domestic violence situation that unfortunately ended up with one of the men dead. There was apparently a relationship between the victim and the suspect that went bad.”
Delehanty also noted that an internal review of how the body was discovered also has shown that members of the Town’s health department acted quickly and appropriately after receiving a call about a foul odor in the Winthrop street neighborhood where the body was found.
“It had been widely reported that the smell had been a problem in the neighborhood for several weeks and that the health department was negligent in investigating the cause,” said Delehanty. “That is also not true.”
According to Delehanty, a review of the case determined that the Winthrop Board of Health was first notified of the foul smell on Monday, August 8 and on Tuesday, August 9. Health officials could not locate the source of the smell on their first visit and inspection on Monday and returned on Tuesday with the local building inspector. It was during the second inspection of the property with the building inspector, that the body was found.
“The Board of Health has come under heavy scrutiny, because of false reports that the smell was first reported weeks ago, but we have determined that this was not case,” said Delehanty. “We have only been able to verify two calls to the Board of Health, on Monday and Tuesday of last week. The Board of Health responded quickly and professionally, once they were notified of the smell, but we asked them to refrain from answering questions about the case during the investigation, because that would have established a timeline in the public that we didn’t want to have out there.”
As for the murder case itself, Delehanty said he recognizes that the case has created some fear in the community about public safety, but reiterated that the case was not a random act of violence, but was apparently a crime between two people involved in a relationship.