Cause of death remains unknown

SALEM – The manner of death for an elderly woman found in her Cedar Ridge Drive home on March 29 has been ruled undetermined by Columbiana County Coroner Dr. William Graham Jr.

Salem police have been treating the death of 72-year-old Barbara Coe as suspicious since being called to the apartment for an alleged suicide attempt. When they arrived, they learned her husband, Thomas Coe, then 83, had allegedly threatened to harm himself. Then they were told she was inside and found her deceased.

According to a supplementary report filed with her death certificate, Barbara Coe’s immediate cause of death was arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease, which has to do with the heart, according to Wikipedia. Other significant conditions contributing to her death were listed as Sjogren’s syndrome, hypertension, depression and anxiety. According to Wikipedia, Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder.

The date of her death was listed as March 27, 2013. No time of death was listed. The manner of death was listed as “could not be determined.”

Manner of death normally falls into one of several categories, such as natural, accidental, suicide, homicide or undetermined and is the ruling the coroner makes based on the cause of death. The cause of death is the physical reason for a person dying, such as a heart attack.

The report was signed by Graham Oct. 4 and filed with the city health department on Oct. 7. The autopsy report had been received from Summit County in June.

Now that the death certificate has been issued, Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott said the case is still under investigation as an undetermined death.

“We need to meet with Dr. Graham and the prosecutor’s office to find out where we go from here,” he said, adding, “We still have questions.”