Frank Del Russo knew his former colleague Lucie McNulty had retired and moved from upstate New York to southern Maine more than 15 years ago, but he hadn’t given her much thought.

“She just sort of disappeared,” he said.

Del Russo, like many others in the Buffalo, New York, area, learned of McNulty’s strange death this week. Her body was discovered inside her mobile home in Wells last week, some 2½ years after she died. She would have been 69.

“I’m just shocked and saddened,” said Del Russo, who was her supervisor for many years at the Williamsville Central School District, where she taught music. “She was a good teacher, a strong worker, but she was also a very sad woman.”

Wells police found McNulty’s remains last Friday while conducting a welfare check. The cause of death was cardiovascular disease, according to the state medical examiner’s office.

Detective Joe LaBier said he could not release a copy of the police report associated with her death because it was “mainly investigatory in nature and includes sensitive information.”

He described the interior of the woman’s mobile home as cluttered, but amid that clutter officers found a will and contacted the attorney who drafted it, Richard Steiner of Buffalo.

Reached by telephone Friday, Steiner said he drafted the document before McNulty moved to Maine. He said he had known her for years; she was his son’s music teacher.

Steiner said he could not provide details about the will or name any of the beneficiaries. Asked if he was surprised when he got the call about her death, he said, “Only surprised that it took that long for someone to realize she had died.”

Del Russo said McNulty attended local schools and studied music at the State University of New York at Fredonia, about an hour southwest of Buffalo.

“She was a gifted flutist,” he said. “She was the first flutist in the Erie County wind ensemble for many years.”

Rita Wolff, a spokeswoman for the Williamsville Central School District, just outside Buffalo, said McNulty was employed in the school system from 1970 to 2001 and taught both at the elementary school and middle school levels.

Students seemed to respond to McNulty, Del Russo said, but he said co-workers sometimes had a hard time getting along with her.

“She was very ‘woe is me,'” he said. “She was a heavy woman. I don’t think she dated. Her parents had died and she had no siblings. I think she just was very lonely.”

News of McNulty’s death had reached the Buffalo area by Friday when the Buffalo News and a local CBS affiliate, WIVB, posted stories.

On Facebook, many former students of McNulty’s were shocked to learn the circumstances of her death.

“Very sad,” wrote Gail Romano. “I took my flute lessons from her too, as so many of us learned our first instruments with Miss McNulty.”

“She was my music teacher and responsible for me going on tour with the high school as their pianist,” wrote Kim Mikkelson Navagh. “I’m very sad.”

Whitney Mendel wrote that McNulty was her favorite music teacher.

McNulty moved to Maine in 2001. She sold her home in Buffalo and began collecting her pension of $53,192, according to the New York State Teachers Retirement System.

She purchased the mobile home in Wells for $64,000 in 2001, moved in and rarely left, according to neighbors. She was last seen in the summer of 2013, around the time she was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

McNulty’s death also surprised her neighbors on Atkins Lane in Wells, who described her as strange and reclusive.

McNulty’s remains were taken last week from her home to Bibber Funeral Home in Wells. Funeral director Doug Bibber said this week that he would keep them until further instruction from her beneficiaries.

Steiner declined to say whether McNulty would be buried or cremated or whether she would have a memorial service, either in Maine or New York.

“I can say that her wishes will be carried out,” the attorney said.