Mass. Mother Found Dead in Car Feared for Her Safety, Police Say

The 49-year-old mother had last been seen on Tuesday evening

Authorities are investigating the death of a Lexington, Massachusetts, mother whose body was found in her car early Thursday after she went missing earlier in the week.

"We are today confirming that we are in the early stages of an active homicide investigation," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said.

Ryan said the body of 49-year-old Shen Cai, of Lexington, was located around 12:30 a.m. Thursday in the driver's seat of her white Honda CRV parked on the side of Worthen Road, close to Lexington High School and its athletic fields and not far from where she lived.

Police were called to the area after receiving a 911 call from several of Cai's friends who had been searching for her and located her unresponsive inside her vehicle.

Cai was pronounced dead at the scene, and Ryan said investigators initially observed some suspicious trauma. An autopsy was conducted, and the medical examiner determined that she died after sustaining "multiple blunt trauma."

She had last been seen by her husband and friends on Tuesday evening. The following day, her friends became concerned after she missed two scheduled appointments.

The friends also told police Cai had previously mentioned to them that she had concerns about her safety.

NBC 10 Boston spoke with Cai’s husband as he returned home from the hospital, but gave no reason why he was there.

"She’s a great lady," said the victim’s husband. "I’m not going to comment anything at all, she’s a great lady and she’s my wife."

"I can’t tell anything," he said. "I don't want to do any more damage to anybody ok."

Ryan said Cai had a daughter, and her husband also has a son.

Based on preliminary information, officials said Cai's death does not appear to be a random act.

"We are confident at this time that the community is not at risk in any manner as a result of this incident," Lexington Police Chief Mark Corr said.

Residents were shocked to hear of the incident on Friday.

"You don’t think it’ll happen in your neighborhood," said next-door neighbor Vidhi Thumma. "And to your neighbor."

"There were lots of periods where the house was dark and nobody was around," said next-door neighbor Ken Kaiten. "We really never knew where they were."

Ryan said there is no person of interest at this point. She said the investigation remains open and active.

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