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74-year-old woman pronounced dead in hospice care found breathing at funeral home

Lancaster County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ben Houchin during a press briefing in Lincoln, Nebraska, June 3, 2024. (Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office)

(NEW YORK) — Authorities in Nebraska are investigating after a 74-year-old woman believed to have died while in hospice care was found to be breathing after being transported to a funeral home.


The woman subsequently died after being transported to a hospital, authorities said Tuesday.

The “unusual” incident began Monday morning, according to Lancaster County Chief Deputy Ben Houchin. The woman had been transported from a nursing home, where she had been declared dead at around 9:44 a.m. local time, to the Butherus-Maser & Love Funeral Home in Lincoln, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities responded to the funeral home after an employee noticed the woman was breathing and “instantly called 911” at approximately 11:44 a.m. Monday, according to Houchin.

Funeral home staff conducted CPR on the woman — identified by authorities as Constance Glantz of Lincoln — and she was transported to a local hospital alive, Houchin said.

Glantz ultimately died at the hospital at approximately 4 p.m. Monday, Houchin said. Her family has been notified, he said.

“I can’t imagine what her family has went through and we are really, really sorry for them to have to do that,” Houchin said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The Lancaster County attorney has ordered an autopsy, Houchin said. The final results of the autopsy could take up to 12 weeks.

Because this was a case where a death was anticipated and there was nothing suspicious about her supposed death, the nursing home did not have to contact the coroner or local authorities after the woman was declared dead, Houchin said.

“It’s a very unusual case,” Houchin said during a press briefing on Monday. “Been doing this 31 years and nothing like this has ever gotten to this point before.”

The sheriff’s office is investigating and no criminal charges are pending, according to Houchin. The nursing home has been “totally cooperative,” he said.

“We have not been able to find any criminal intent by the nursing home but the investigation is ongoing,” Houchin said Monday.

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