Coen death remains mystery  

Theresa A. "Tracy" Coen

ROCKPORT — Theresa Coen's remains were found off of Chatham after she went missing from Rockport in 2018. But police in both towns are not saying when they were found and how she died remains a mystery.

Interest in the Coen case was reignited after Abbie Flynn of Gloucester was reported missing on Feb. 2. During an podcast with Good Morning Gloucester last Thursday, host Joey Ciaramitaro asked Gloucester police Chief Edward Conley III if the two missing persons cases were correlated in any way. Conley responded, "The missing Rockport woman is no longer missing ... The remains were found on Chatham Beach." He followed up by saying "(Rockport Police) have a good sense of what happened there and foul play wasn't involved." 


Coen's death was confirmed by the state medical examiner's office and Chatham town clerk's office on Tuesday.

"The (state medical examiner's) office replied that the cause of death is undetermined," said Felix Browne, communications director of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, "and the manner of death is also undermined."

Browne declined to comment further on the matter citing public record law. The medical examiner's office is only privy to discuss information about the cause and manner of a death to those who are in not direct relation to an investigation, he said. 

Chatham Town Clerk Julie Smith confirmed a death certificate for Coen is on file. Coen's date of death is listed as March 17, 2018, according to Smith, which is the date she disappeared. The Times is waiting to receive a copy of the death certificate via a FOIA request.

Chatham Police declined to comment on the case and directed all questions to Rockport Police. 

In a prepared statement issued Tuesday, Rockport police Chief John Horvath said Coen is "presumed dead" after some of her remains  "were located off the coast in Chatham, Massachusetts."

"The investigation remains open as to the circumstances of her disappearance," Horvath continued. He reiterated that the department's investigation has found no indication of foul play.

"The safety of our community is always the highest priority," Horvath said. "There is no current or past threat to the safety of our community related to this matter ... Had there been (indication of foul play), the community would be notified with the appropriate information to ensure their safety."

Horvath closed his statement by saying Gloucester and Rockport Police departments have found "no identified connection" between Coen and Flynn's disappearances. Flynn's disappearance remains under investigation by Gloucester police.


Coen, who was living in a rented home on Penzance Road, left without any of her belongings on St. Patrick's Day. She was last seen in Somerville. Horvath and Rockport police expressed concern that the 52-year-old was "in danger" soon after she went missing, yet said then, as now, that there was no suspicion of foul play in her disappearance.

Coen, known as Tracy, also had a home in Charlestown. She was the co-founder of Paradigm Associates, an employee benefits consulting firm in the Boston area. She also served on the advisory board for the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. DOPS is involved in the scientific research of near-death experiences, mediumship, paranormal phenomena and the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. 

Those with any information on Coen's disappearance are asked to contact the Rockport Police Department at 978-546-1212.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or



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