Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Mother's not herself today"

Well, Doug at Balls and Walnuts beat me to this at one (damn you!), which I wrote but didn't post yesterday, but here goes anyway:

CINCINNATI - The mummified body of a woman who didn't want to be buried was found in a chair in front of her television set 2 1/2 years after her death, authorities said.

Johannas Pope had told her live-in caregiver that she didn't want to be buried and planned on returning after she died, Hamilton County Coroner O'Dell Owens said Monday.

She really, really wanted to see where "According to Jim" was going with that whole Jim-is-a-slob-married-to-a-hot-wife plotline.

Pope died in August 2003 at age 61. Her body was found last week in the upstairs of her home on a quiet street. Some family members continued to live downstairs, authorities said. No one answered the doorbell at Pope's home Monday afternoon.

It could take weeks to determine Pope's cause of death because little organ tissue was available for testing, Owens said.

OK, brace yourselves, because this is where it starts to get weird.

An air conditioner had been left running upstairs, and that allowed the body to slowly mummify, he said. The machine apparently stopped working about a month ago, and the body began to smell.

"Standing outside, one could smell death," Owens said.

Well, to be fair, "According to Jim" could account for that.

Police went to the house last Wednesday after receiving a call from a relative who hadn't seen Pope in years. They found a staircase behind a door blocked by a basket and climbed to the second floor, where they found the body.

It was not clear if any crimes were committed, Owens said.

If not actual crimes, I think a few housekeeping rules-of-thumb may have been bent a little. I'm pretty sure I saw this covered on Martha Stewart's show.

Authorities did not identify the caregiver, a women in her 40s who apparently lived in the home with Pope, Pope's daughter and her 3-year-old granddaughter.

"The caregiver is not someone you'd think was from another planet or really seems off the wall--(she's) a pretty normal kind of person," he said. "But I think out of loyalty, friendship and love of her friend, (she) decided to keep the body at home."
--The Associated Press

Based on these criteria, I must be a lousy friend.


trinamick said...

What amazes me is that people were still living in the house.

"What's that noise, Mommy?"
"Oh, that's just your dead grandma falling out of the chair again. I'll go put her back in it."

Douglas Hoffman said...

I missed this one, Jim. Had one of those weeks where all I could do was follow the news.

I liked the Martha Stewart reference. Now I'm seeing Grandma as part of a dried flower arrangement. More raffia, please!

"Now we'll take our glue gun and reattach grandma's ear . . . and such a lovely earring, too . . ."