Gardner Police responded to two unattended deaths within three days last week. One is still under investigation.
Steve Benz, Gardner Police Department public information officer, said the two deaths were completely unrelated. Both deaths occured inside residences. Police did dispatch crime scene units to both scenes. Law enforcement is always called to unattended deaths.
“Anytime anyone passes away in the city limits, we go to it,” Benz said.
At about 11 a.m. on Dec. 5, police responded to a call for an unresponsive person in the 700 block of East Dogwood.
When officers arrived, they discovered an unresponsive, 50-year-old woman. She was not breathing, and emergency medical personnel said that she was deceased.
After an autopsy and investigation, officials determined that the woman died of natural causes.
Gardner Police responded to a second unattended death just before 10 a.m. on Dec.7.
Officers were dispatched to the 700 block of Redwood after receiving a call about a subject who was not breathing. When law enforcement arrived, they found a deceased woman who was approximately 60-years-old.
Officials continue to investigate the death, though Benz said they do not suspect foul play.
“It’s very rare that it’s anything other than an expected passing, accidental or natural causes,” Benz said.
Officers follow a specific list when they respond to an unattended death. First, law enforcement makes sure there are no signs of foul play. They will ask family members or friends about any medical conditions the deceased person may have.
“We will talk to the physician by phone, and it may come back that this person was terminally ill or was being treated for something chronic,” Benz said.
Officers then relay information from the doctor to the coroner. The coroner can decide to do an autopsy. As a courtesy, law enforcement also notifies the district attorney’s office.
“There’s a list we go through, and 99.9 percent of the time it’s just nature,” Benz said.
Authorities aren’t releasing the names of the deceased until all family has been notified.
Police investigate scenes at 2 unattended deaths