Woman declared dead in nursing home found alive in Nebraska funeral home

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Nebraska woman declared dead in nursing home later found alive in funeral home
WATCH: A 74-year-old woman who was pronounced dead in a Nebraska nursing home made a startling comeback at a funeral home in Lancaster County, Neb., on Monday – Jun 4, 2024

A 74-year-old woman was declared dead in a nursing home in Nebraska on Monday. Two hours later, a funeral home employee noticed the woman was alive and still breathing.

The woman, identified by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office as Constance Glantz, was declared dead by nursing staff at The Mulberry care home in Waverly, Neb., around 9:45 a.m. local time.

Shortly after, she was brought to the Butherus-Maser & Love Funeral Home in the nearby city of Lincoln, where an employee discovered she was breathing and administered CPR. The woman had earlier been in hospice care at the nursing home.

During a press conference, Lancaster County Chief Deputy Ben Houchin said the unnamed funeral home employee “instantly called 911.”

The call was made two hours after Glantz was declared dead, around 11:45 a.m. Glantz was transferred to hospital and her family members were notified.

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During the Monday press conference, Houchin said Glantz was still alive; in an update on Tuesday, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said Glantz died on Monday around 4 p.m., while still in hospital.

The county chief deputy admitted he had never seen an incident like this one throughout his entire 31-year career. He called the case “very unusual.”

Police have launched an investigation. There have been no charges, and Houchin said authorities have not discovered any criminal intent.

The nursing home is cooperating in the investigation and the funeral home is not at fault, Houchin said. Neither The Mulberry nor the Butherus-Maser & Love Funeral Home has commented publicly on the situation.

In Nebraska, hospice and nursing home facilities do not have to contact a coroner if a person’s death was anticipated and deemed unsuspicious.

After Glantz’s true death, the Lancaster County attorney general ordered that an autopsy be performed. The sheriff’s office will provide the public with an update once the autopsy is completed, though the results can take up to 12 weeks to be available.

Despite being a first for Lancaster County, this is not the only instance in which someone has been declared dead prematurely. Last year, a hospice facility in Iowa falsely declared a 66-year-old woman with early-onset dementia to be dead.

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The woman was hours later discovered gasping for breath inside a body bag.

Also in 2023, a 76-year-old woman in Ecuador was found breathing inside her coffin during her own wake.

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