Woman Who Died in ’03 Left in Front of TV

CINCINNATI, Jan. 9, 2006

(AP) A dead woman dressed in white was positioned in a chair in front of a
television set for 2 1/2 years because she told her caregiver that she
didn’t want to be buried and planned to return, the coroner said.

“Don’t show my body when I’m dead,” Hamilton County Coroner Dr. O’dell
Owens said Monday in describing Johannas Pope’s wishes. “Don’t bury me.
I’m coming back.”

Pope, 61, died Aug. 29, 2003. Her caretaker and friend, whose name has not
been released, left the woman upstairs in the home with the television and
air conditioning on while the body slowly decayed and mummified,
authorities said.

Some family members continued to live downstairs in the house since her

Police went to the house last Wednesday after a relative who hadn’t seen
Pope in 2 1/2 years called them. They found a staircase behind a door
blocked by a basket and climbed to the second floor where they found the

“Standing outside, one could smell death,” Owens said.

Owens said he had not determined the cause of death but found no signs of
abuse or foul play.

Authorities are working to determine whether any crimes were committed,
but Owens said the caretaker and family members apparently did not benefit
in any way by keeping Pope.