Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Woman Avoids Expense of Calling Locksmith - Dies Instead

Stuck in basement window, cheapskate Ohio woman suffocates

Apr 13 2011

LEBANON, Ohio — An Ohio man came home from an out-of-state trip to find the body of his wife stuck in a basement window, where she suffocated after apparently locking herself out of the house, authorities said Wednesday.

David Kline found the body of his 44-year-old wife, Esther, on Tuesday and called 911, police said. He told the dispatcher that his wife wasn't breathing.

"I just found my wife downstairs, and she's hanging partly in a window, and I think she's dead," Kline told the dispatcher in a very calm tone of voice.

Authorities believe she may have locked herself out; she had sent her husband a text saying: "I wish the spare key was here." The spare had apparently been borrowed and not returned, possibly by her husband.

The window is about 3 feet wide and a foot high. The woman was about 3 and 1/2 feet wide and a foot and a half high.

"It was a narrow opening, smaller than a person's body," police Sgt. Jeff Mitchell told the Middletown Journal. "Not a whole lot of maneuvering room, because it's below ground in a window well."

Kline became stuck when she tried to get through the window feet first, and scuff marks on the wall from her shoes indicate she struggled to push herself free, Mitchell told The Enquirer. But stuck she was.

She may have been pinned in the window for about nine hours, coroner's investigator Doyle Burke said. It's hard to determine time of death from slow asphyxiation. It can be a slow, agonizing death.

"Essentially she couldn't breathe," Mitchell said. An unnamed CSI said it was a case of too little window and too much woman.

The Warren County coroner's office said the death was accidental without any evidence to support that conclusion. The woman could have been held in place by a jealous lover until she was dead. She could have been launched through the window by an angry neighbor. Who knows?

Esther Klein's body weight was not released by the coroner's office at the request of the local Weight Watchers Center where she had been dieting for 25 years, according to a neighbor who said Klein probably topped 220 pounds.

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