Body found in Dracut still unidentified

It has been over a week since a boater spotted a dead body in the Merrimack River near 197 Merrimack Avenue (Route 110).

Investigators from Dracut Police and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office have still not identified the body.

Today police released even more details about the description of the man who was found dead.

Police say the man was a white male, 20- to 41-years-old. He was 5’9, about 120 pounds, and had red body hair.

Police say he had no scars, no tattoos, and bad teeth. Police were unable to determine his eye color.

He was wearing white Nike Airmax sneakers, size 11.5, but he only had size 9 feet. He was wearing dark blue nylon pants with three vertical white stripes down the legs, with an Adidas bathing suit underneath. He was wearing a Casio watch, not a Seiko, as was initially reported. He was also wearing a light-colored polo shirt with the name and logo for “Corporate Chefs,” on it.

Police have contacted Corporate Chefs, which is based in Haverhill and has closer locations, but company officials checked for past employees who are unaccounted for and did not discover any.

Dracut Police Deputy Chief Dave Chartrand said investigators are pursuing all possible leads, but have still come up empty so far.

“We have researched all missing persons in the area and have not encountered a viable match,” Chartrand told me. “We have also been in contact with the local homeless shelters, to no avail.” Continue reading


Dead body found in the Merrimack

My colleague Sarah Favot, who worked the day shift today, told me Dracut Police found a decomposing body in the Merrimack River today.

Tough way to start a Sunday.

Dracut Police tell me the body was found in the Merrimack River near 197 Merrimack Avenue in Dracut today about 11:40 a.m. The body was found by an unidentified boater, according to Dracut Police.

Photo by Bob Whitaker.

Jessica Pastore and Stephanie Guyotte, spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone, tell me investigators are still trying to figure out who the body is and how it got into the river.

Dracut Police say the body appears to be a light-skinned male with an average build.

He was wearing dark blue nylon pants with three white stripes on each side, which sounds like Adidas pants. He was also wearing a light-colored polo shirt with the logo “Corporate Chefs Inc.” on the front; white Nike Airmax sneakers; and a Seiko watch with a black band on his left wrist. Continue reading

Search for Leo Coutu continues

The search for 49-year-old retired corrections officer and father of three, Leo Coutu, continues in Dracut, so I’m posting his photograph once again, as well as a story my co-worker Evan Lips put together on the ongoing search today.

Evan’s story is here:

By Evan Lips
TYNGSBORO — Nearly seven days have passed and still they search for Leo  Coutu.
They’ve looked behind almost every thicket, under every culvert and even inside nearly every vacant house in the 49-year-old’s hometown of Dracut.
On Monday morning, the search for Leo resumed in a new place: Just over the town line in Tyngsboro, as volunteers fanned out across the neighborhood surrounding Lake Mascuppic. Continue reading

Near drowning in Littleton

I am certainly not the only person working here at The Sun, and my co-workers have some interesting stuff today.

Lyle Moran spent his day chasing a story about a 10-month-old boy who nearly drowned in Littleton this morning. The boy remains in critical condition, and we’ll be working on this story all night.

Our court reporter, Lisa Redmond, has a great story about prostitution in Lowell that was on the front page today. I recommend everyone give this one a read, and follow Lisa on Twitter.

There isn’t much point in reading the crime blog if you don’t follow up by reading what Lisa writes about how the arrests and cases I cover play out in the courts. Continue reading

Dracut man still missing

Several people tweeted at me and sent me messages on Facebook on my days off asking why NEMLEC was in Dracut while helicopters were overhead, and I directed them to the ongoing story of Leo Coutu, a 49-year-old Dracut man who has been missing since Tuesday about 5 p.m.

Over 100 people from NEMLEC, local police, and volunteers searched for Coutu over the last few days. He is still missing.

Coutu is 5’4, with a slim, 130 pound build. He has fair skin, gray hair, and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and white, striped polo shirt, bue shorts and sneakers.

Coutu is the son of the late Edmond “Gus” Coutu, a former Lowell city councilor and school committee member. He worked as a corrections officers for 22 years, and worked for a time at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.

My colleague Jen Myers attended a press conference held by Coutu’s family in Dracut today, and reports that his 19-year-old daughter was crying as she pleaded with anyone who spots her father to help. Continue reading

Mustang versus Crown Vic in Lowell

The Mustang lost.

I’m not yet sure what started the motor vehicle pursuit that started on Bridge Street in Centralville tonight, but I do know how it ended, because it ended with this guy in handcuffs.

Police tell me this is Anthony Burcell, 20, of 240 Pelczar Road, Dracut.

Police say officers in a car that patrols Centralville tried to stop the Ford Mustang pictured below here on Bridge Street about 8:20 p.m., but the driver of the car refused to stop.

The chase went up Bridge Street, and I’m told Pelczar nearly struck several pedestrians as he fled police. Continue reading

Two arrested for theft of a dog

I’m a little busy here since I’ve got a lot to accomplish before my vacation starts at midnight tonight, but here’s a story I just cranked out about the alleged theft of a pit bull in Dracut today.

By Robert Mills
DRACUT — A Dracut couple is facing charges they stole a dog from another couple during an altercation on Methuen Street, and then struck a woman with a car as they fled with the dog.
Deputy Chief David Chartrand said Emanuel Lima, 28, and Ashley Dewolfe, 27, both of 21 Wigham Ave., met up with a couple they know on Methuen Street in the area of Hillside Drive about 7:15 p.m.
“They met to talk about money that was owed between the couples, and the discussion turned into an altercation,” Chartrand said.
The victims in the case, who police did not identify, had their dog, a pit bull, in their car when the fight broke out.
“They took the dog from the victims’ vehicle, placed it in their vehicle, and began to flee,” Chartrand said.
As Emanuel and Dewolfe fled, their car struck the female victim, who was taken to Lowell General Hospital for observation, Chartrand said. Her injuries did not appear to be serious, he said.
Emanuel and Dewolfe had fled the area by the time police were contacted, but the victims told police where they live.
Chartrand said Emanuel and Dewolfe were arrested at their home a short time later. Continue reading