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88 year old woman found dead in home; believed to have died in spring


Eighty-eight-year-old Blanche Matilda Roth’s body was wheeled from the Odgen home where she laid dead since spring.

“I can tell you, speaking with Sheriff McMahon, earlier, was very disappointed that this type of incident has not been reported to law enforcement before now,” said Deputy Charles Smith from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

New Hanover County investigators said an anonymous cell phone call came in to dispatchers around 11:30 Tuesday morning.

“We woke up this morning seeing like 13, 14 cops and the investigator units and everything like that,” said neighbor Robbie Juba. “It was a little odd for me seeing all this kind of stuff in my neighborhood.”

The caller provided little information, but said an elderly woman inside 612 Cherry Laurel Court was unconscious and not breathing. That is when deputies arrived at the home and the investigation unfolded.

Neighbor Zach McHugh added, “I was stunned, really. Its just you never hear of anything like that so to hear about something like that, when its right around the corner from your house, it’s a bit disconcerting.”

What makes the story so strange – investigators said caregivers were in and out of the home on a regular basis. According to New Hanover County tax records, the home is registered to a Stewart family.

“Detectives are certainly speaking with the caregivers that are believed to have regular access to and from the residence on a day to day basis,” Deputy Charles Smith said.

Roth’s body was found laying on a bed inside a room in the home. Just what killed Blanche Roth, and exactly when she died are unknown.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday in Chapel Hill.

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Story summary

videoNew Hanover County deputies are trying to figure out what happened to an 88-year-old woman they found dead in her home Tuesday; months, they say, after she died.

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