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Carbon Co. nursing home death ruled a homicide

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: May 06 2013 08:56:04 AM CDT
Updated On: May 07 2013 02:52:03 PM CDT

Death at Carbon Co. nursing home ruled homicide

WEATHERLY, Pa. -

It's the last place you expect a homicide to happen.

Police say a Carbon County woman was killed at a nursing home, by another resident.

Police say it happened more than three weeks ago, nut the the Luzerne County Coroner just ruled it a homicide.

Nursing home officials say both residents involved in the incident suffer from dementia.

Weatherly Police say April 20th, 85-year-old Margaret Lechleitner is pushed by another resident of Weatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Carbon County.

Weatherwood officials say Lechleitner hit her head during the fall.

According to a statement released by Weatherwood, "both residents suffer from dementia."

After the incident they were taken to Hazelton General Hospital a few miles away.
Lechleitner died the next day.

There is no word on the condition or identity of the other resident.

Weatherwood's official statement expressed its condolences to the family, saying quote:

"Behaviors associated with dementia can be unpredictable. While we strive to ensure resident care and safety on a daily basis, spontaneous, unpreventable incidents can occur due to the disease process."

Weatherwood says for that reason it has a staff of health care professionals and physicians that work to ensure the best quality of care and quality of life for residents.

Weatherly Borough Police say Lechleitner's death has been ruled a homicide by the Luzerne County Coroner and that her death is still under investigation.

The sergeant in charge of the investigation says the department is working closely with the Carbon County District Attorney's office on the case.

69 News spoke with Lechleitner's family, who says they are devastated but have no comment about what happened.

It's unknown if any charges will be filed in connection with this case.

Weatherly Police say they plan to release more information on the investigation in the coming days.