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She Was Starting to Decompose': Woman Charged in Death of Morbidly Obese Sister

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"an odor of decomposing flesh in the room"

(Image source: WKRC-TV)

An Indiana woman has been charged in the death of her sister, a morbidly obese 61-year-old who was found decomposing in the chair she had not left for three weeks.

Priscilla Frieberger was still alive in the Dearborn County, Indiana home she shared with her sister when emergency crews found her in October, her skin sticking to the brown cloth recliner chair where she spent the last weeks of her life, sitting in her own waste.

Vickie Holdcraft, 58, called 911 when her sister began having trouble breathing. In a recording of the 911 call, Holdcraft is heard telling the operator crews will have to go around to the back of the house to get inside.

That's because the home could have been something out of the TV show "Hoarders," prosecutor Aaron Negangard told Cincinnati CBS affiliate WKRC-TV.

"There was stuff stacked up, in parts to the ceiling," Negangard told the station. "The bedroom where the victim was located was full of stuff. The only way to get her out was through a window, they broke out the window, moved ambulance to the window, then got her out."

Frieberger was in the recliner, not because she was obese, but because her skin was stuck to it, WKRC reported.

"She'd been in this chair at least three weeks, and she was starting to decompose. She had several parts of the body in a state of decomposition especially posterior where she was sitting.  There was an odor of decomposing flesh in the room," Negangard said.

Frieberger later died of pneumonia and a blood infection. A grand jury on Friday indicted Holdcraft on charges of reckless homicide, neglect and perjury and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

According to WKRC, Frieberger worked for the county auditor's office for 30 years before retiring in 2010. Holdcraft works for the health department.

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