Murder-suicide suspected after missing New Hampshire woman's body found
Crime scene (Shutterstock)

New Hampshire authorities said on Monday that a body found stuffed behind a false wall in an apartment closet in Manchester is likely that of a woman who had been missing since last month.

Police in the state's largest city discovered the body of a woman believed to be Sue Hutchinson, 57, after family members reported a foul stench in the building where she lived.

Hutchinson and her roommate, Stephen Andrade, 36, went missing around Sept. 20. Last week, Andrade was found dead in a Massachusetts motel room apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Police have said Andrade had been dating Hutchinson's daughter, had broken it off, but that he and the mother had remained roommates.

Police believe that Andrade had been driving Hutchinson's 2005 BMW, which was found last week in a neighboring New Hampshire town. Another vehicle belonging to Hutchinson was found near her Manchester home shortly after their disappearance.

The New Hampshire attorney general's office said on Monday that it appeared likely Andrade had killed Hutchinson.

"Based on statements Andrade made shortly before he killed himself, it appears likely that he killed Sue Hutchinson, concealed her body, fled, and then eventually killed himself," the attorney general's office said in a statement. They released no motive for the alleged killing.

An autopsy is to be performed on her body on Tuesday to conclusively determine her identity and the cause of death.

Police discovered the body on Sunday evening after searching the building where Hutchinson and Andrade lived. The body was found in a crawl space behind a false wall in the closet.

(Reporting by Ted Siefer in Lowell, Massachusetts; Editing by Scott Malone and Jeffrey Benkoe)