Me. Mom Vanished After Putting Twins on School Bus — and Boyfriend Is Arrested After Body Is Found

Harriet Sokmensuer

A body has been found in the home of a missing Maine woman who was last seen putting her children on the school bus the day before.

On Wednesday, authorities discovered a body in the basement of 29-year-old Melissa Sousa’s home, Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, tells PEOPLE. Sousa was reported missing the previous day by friends after they hadn’t heard from her and grew concerned.

She was last seen putting her kids on the school bus outside their home Tuesday morning.

The body is undergoing an autopsy and has not yet been identified.

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Nicholas Lovejoy, Sousa’s live-in boyfriend and father of her two children, was arrested Tuesday night, according to McCausland. Before she disappeared, Sousa allegedly told coworkers that Lovejoy had threatened to kill her in the past, the Morning Sentinel reports.

“He’s locked her out of the house and pointed a gun at her while the girls were upstairs, looking out of the window,” Sousa’s boss at Dunkin’ Donuts Megan Legasse said to CentralMaine.com. “A week ago in the driveway, he pointed a gun at her and the kids were saying, ‘Don’t kill my Mom.’”

Lovejoy was pulled over around midnight on Tuesday and charged with carrying a loaded rifle in the vehicle and endangering the welfare of a child, because he had left his children home alone. As of Wednesday, Lovejoy remains behind bars in Kennebec County jail in lieu of $2,000 bail.

One of Sousa’s neighbors told CentralMaine.com he had seen Sousa’s children playing with her outside their home.

“She’s such a cute little thing,” Chris Moody said of Sousa. “I used to say to myself, ‘What’s that girl doing with that guy?’ I just don’t understand it. From all reports, she was a nice young girl and probably tried to be the best mother she could. I feel so bad. I just can’t imagine. It makes me cry that somebody is living in hell and you don’t even know it. She was just a little thing and he was awful. His eyes were just cold and evil.”