Woman Mistakenly Thought To Be Dead Has Died

Death comes two weeks after the first time she was reported dead.

Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 4:18 PM EDT
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Woman Mistakenly Thought To Be Dead Has Died

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A Maryland woman whose death was mistakenly reported two weeks ago has died.

The Maryland State Anatomy Board said Ruth Johnson, 89, died Saturday in hospice care.  Meanwhile, Anne Arundel County's police chief has ordered an investigation into the erroneous report of her death two weeks ago, saying the facts of the case are "deeply disturbing."

Police were called to check on Johnson on Oct. 1.  Officers found her blue and not breathing on her bathroom floor but did not check for a pulse.  Instead, they called Johnson's adult son and told him his mother was dead.

Three hours later, a State Anatomy Board employee arrived to collect the body and noticed Johnson was alive.  The anatomy board takes care of bodies donated to science.

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