Declared dead at nursing home, woman was alive at funeral home 2 hours later

A 74-year-old woman declared dead at a nursing home was found alive two hours later by funeral home employees attending to what they believed were her remains, a Nebraska sheriff’s official said.

The employees of the Lincoln funeral home called 911, and the woman was taken to a hospital alive, where she remained Monday, Lancaster County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Houchin said at a news conference.

The woman’s condition was unavailable. Houchin identified her as Constance Glantz.

“This is a very unusual case. I’ve been doing this 31 years, and nothing like this has ever gotten to this point before,” Houchin said.

police presser
Chief Deputy Ben Houchin provides an update in Lancaster, Neb., on Monday.Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office via Facebook

Houchin said a Lincoln-area nursing home where Glantz was receiving end-of-life care declared her dead about 9:44 a.m., with a doctor prepared to sign her death certificate. It wasn’t clear whether that happened.

She was taken to the funeral home, where employees called 911 about 11:43 a.m., a Lincoln Fire & Rescue spokeswoman said.

Houchin described the scene as workers at the funeral home discovered the woman was alive.

“Employee was placing Constance Glantz onto a table to start their process,” he said. “An employee noticed that she was still breathing.”

He said that an investigation was underway but that so far there are no indications that the nursing home acted with malice in declaring Glantz dead.

“At this point, we have not been able to find any criminal intent by the nursing home, but the investigation is ongoing,” he said.

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