Body Of Woman Found In Home Months After Death

Authorities say a North Carolina family failed to report the death of an elderly relative who lived in their home, leaving her body in her bed for months.

New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David told a Wednesday news conference that a concealment of death charge would be filed against the woman's daughter, although he declined to identify her by name.

David said the person charged may not face jail time depending on any prior criminal record.

Sheriff's Deputy Charles Smith said Blanche Matilda Roth likely died in May, before her 88th birthday in September. Her body was found after an unidentified 911 caller reported that an elderly woman in the home was unconscious and not breathing.

David said an autopsy on Roth was complete, but he did not reveal the results.



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Authorities say the body of an 88-year-old North Carolina woman lay in her house for up to eight months while caretakers visited the home daily.

New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the suspicious death of Blanche Matilda Roth, who was discovered dead Tuesday in her Wilmington home.

Deputy Charles Smith says Roth likely died in May. Her body was found laying on a bed in the house after an anonymous 911 caller alerted police that an elderly women in the home was unconscious and not breathing.

Smith said caretakers had been coming in and out on a daily basis. He would not specify their relationship. Failure to report a death is a felony in North Carolina.

Officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine cause of death.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ryan Location: Jacksonville on May 18, 2010 at 10:38 AM
    The caregiver was her daughter. It says so in the story. So sad.
  • by Money? on Mar 13, 2010 at 01:21 AM
    Was she getting checks from the gov't and where they being deposited? Either way, her "daughter/caregiver" that lived in that smelly house should be PROSECUTED, not released b/c she doesn't have a crimminal record. That's disgusting. The Casey Anthony enthusiasts will be ALL over this, maybe they can make a defense for her based on this story...sick. The daughter probally does have some sort of mental disorder if she wasn't getting money from all of this. What's the point of living with your dead mother in the same house with you for 8 months if she's not?!?!
  • by debra Location: kinston on Dec 21, 2009 at 11:43 AM
    KARMA BABY ! KARMA !
  • by Anonymous on Dec 17, 2009 at 08:52 AM
    The family lived in the house with the body for those 8 months.
  • by parent of disabled Location: enc on Dec 16, 2009 at 09:26 PM
    I believe the story is talking about her FAMILY as caregivers. THEY, THE FAMILY, did not report her death. As a parent of a child that receives services from a home health agency, I can tell you that they are higher regulated. Our nurses are very well trained and supervised, not only thru the agency, but other agencies as well. Not only that, we have never had any problems of neglect--only the best caregivers for the past 10 years. (I really find it hard to imagine how anyone could endure that smell of a dead body??) Most "normal" people would have reported the death.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2009 at 09:03 PM
    Have you seen the update the caregiver was her on daughter????? This is crazy, ok she either loved her mother dearly and could not part with her, or she was taking her money, I find it hard to think eight months , you would try to keep your mama close like that. How could a daughter look at her mother like that. It reminds me of the movie weekend at Bernie's house. This is horrible, poor lady .
  • by faith Location: washington, nc on Dec 16, 2009 at 07:54 PM
    this daughter ought to be made to lay in a bed for as long as her mama did, see how long she last. my mama, God rest her soul, I looked after her for years, and sh passed away in 2008. and I miss her so much to this day. I can't imagine anyone doing this to a stranger, neverless my own mama. May your mama rest in peace, and you suffer forever, case you need all hell that you can get. One day you will get old and may the favor be returned onto you. I hope so
  • by oh my... Location: nc on Dec 16, 2009 at 06:43 PM
    This is really disgusting. What is wrong with people?!
  • by jacobi Location: greenville on Dec 16, 2009 at 03:09 PM
    My God! And we all thought Nursing Homes were a bad place. Arrest and prosecute every single care giver that was responsible to check on her. Are they not even using their tools, its not hard to check for a pulse. They have probably cashed all the poor womans social security checks! Please I wish i could be on a Jury for them! Felony- charge them then they won't hold another care giver job ever i hope!
  • by Guy Location: Greenville on Dec 16, 2009 at 02:16 PM
    Just to show you what how your tax dollars are be WASTED on people that can't do their jobs.
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