Woman Found Dead in Recycling Bin Under Porch Sought Restraining Order Against Husband Weeks Earlier: Reports

A Massachusetts woman whose body was found in a recycling bin under her porch on Monday had filed a restraining order against her estranged husband weeks before her suspicious death.

WFXT reported that Barbara Novaes, 61, wrote on May 6 and 7 about her husband physically harming her. Novaes filed a restraining order application on May 9 — but it was never issued as neither she nor her husband were present for a court hearing regarding the matter.

On May 17 — six days before her death — Novaes asked the court to rescind the restraining order as an agreement has been reached, WBTS reported.

According to WFXT, Novaes stated in her application that her estranged husband could not accept that she was filing for divorce. She recounted an instance on May 6 in which the husband grew emotional after drinking, but he left after she threatened to call the police, and their son got into an argument with him. Novaes reportedly locked herself in a bedroom, and when her husband returned the following morning, he allegedly tried to get into the room.

WFXT reported that the husband left before the police arrived. Novaes changed the locks, but her husband allegedly tried to get back into the home.

Novaes was found deceased in a recycling container located under the back porch of her duplex in Medford, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Novaes’ son called the police early Monday after waking up and not being able to locate his mother, who he claimed he last saw on Sunday afternoon.

Novaes lived with her son, who is in his 20s. The son allegedly also told police that he initially believed his mother left home for a nail appointment. However, alarms were raised the following day when the son woke up and found the door wide open. There was no sign of his mother despite her car being on the property and her keys, phone, and purse were still in the home.

A Medford police officer found Novaes’ body about two hours after her son contacted authorities.

Police said they were called to the home twice in November 2021 for reports of suicidal threats. They also responded to the home on April 21 and May 7; the latter incident which was referenced in Novaes’ restraining order application, WFXT reported.

There were no obvious signs of trauma on Novaes’ body but her death is being treated as suspicious. No arrests have been made.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:

Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most — your children.

[Featured image: Barbara Novaes/Twitter]