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Medford woman Barbara Novaes applied for restraining order against estranged husband before her death

Medford woman Barbara Novaes applied for restraining order weeks before her death
Medford woman Barbara Novaes applied for restraining order weeks before her death 02:11

MEDFORD - Barbara Novaes, the 61-year-old woman whose body was found in a recycling bin outside her Medford home Monday, tried to take out a restraining order against her estranged husband earlier in the month, according to court records.

She and her husband were getting a divorce. Novaes filed the order two weeks ago on May 9, but withdrew it before a judge signed off on it. It says her husband made three visits to the home on Emery Street Friday, May 6 trying to reconcile, and she locked herself in the bedroom. 

When he returned the next morning, she called police who told him to stay away. But documents show he returned later that afternoon and got even more agitated when he discovered she had changed the locks. 

Investigators also said Tuesday that Medford Police had been to Novaes' home for several disturbance calls in the last seven months.

Novaes was last seen alive around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22 when her son and daughter thought she was going to get her nails done.

The son, who also lives in the Emery Street home, told police when he woke up Monday morning the front door was open. His mother's car, keys, phone and purse were also still there. By 8:30 a.m. a police officer found Novaes' body inside a recycling container under her porch.

There have been no arrests. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said there were no signs of trauma and results of an autopsy conducted Tuesday have not been released yet.

According to the Medford Police dispatch logs obtained Tuesday, police were called to the home twice in November 2021 for a suicidal threat, then on February 3rd for a call of identity fraud and again on April 21st for a disturbance call.

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Police officers were back at the house Tuesday morning gathering evidence.

Medford Police Chief Jack Buckley is asking anyone who has video of the neighborhood to share it with investigators. 

Novaes worked at the Everett Bank. Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria released a statement on Facebook Tuesday, saying she was "very loving and caring to my family, especially my daughter Caroline whom she formed a special bond with over the years."

"Barbara may not have been an Everett resident but she was truly an Everett "person"," the mayor wrote.

Kevin Slama, a friend of Novaes, called her an "amazing woman."

"She would always come and say hi, always cared about what was going on in your life. Amazing woman. My mom passed away and she was always there. She came to the wake," Slama said. "I could never imagine someone like her being hurt in this way. When I went to the bank to drop flowers off at the bank, there were people crying."


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