June 22nd, 2012 | By love not hate
A woman with special needs who was thought to have died from natural causes was found with rope and a candy wrapper stuffed down her throat when her body was being embalmed.
When 70-year-old Kathleen Mcewan’s body was found at her apartment in Roxborough, Philadelphia, there were not thought to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.
However, when undertakers attempted to embalm her body the next day they discovered up to 10 inches of cotton rope and a candy wrapper stuck in her throat.
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Police have now launched a homicide investigation and Geraldine Cherry – a 49-year-old neighbour of Mcewan – has been charged with murder.
Cherry, who is being held without bail, lives in the same apartment complex as Mcewan but it is unclear what her connection is with the dead woman.
According to Msnbc.com, Philadelphia police said there was no reason to suspect foul play when they responded to a call reporting Mcewan’s death on June 10.
Officers initially found no suspicious circumstances when they attended the scene so they arranged for her body to be taken to the nearby John J. Byers Funeral Home.
Funeral director Jeff Thompson said, at first, everything seemed to be in order. However, it wasn’t until the next day, on June 11, when they prepared her body for embalming that the objects were found in her throat.
He toldMsnbc.com: ‘I’ve done this for 20 some years, on thousands of people, and obviously I knew right away this didn’t appear to be a natural cause of death.
‘We called the medical examiner.’
Thompson added that the cotton rope found in Mcewan’s throat was similar to that used as drawstring pants or a hooded top.
Cherry is set to attend a preliminary court hearing on July 11.
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