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Nebraska woman declared dead at nursing home discovered breathing at funeral home 2 hours later

NY woman pronounced dead, was found alive at funeral home
NY woman pronounced dead, was found alive at funeral home 01:23

Police are investigating after a 74-year-old woman who was declared dead at a Nebraska nursing home was found breathing at a funeral home two hours later, marking at least the third time since last year that a woman was prematurely declared dead at a U.S. nursing home. The woman was ultimately declared dead Monday afternoon at a hospital, officials with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday. An autopsy was expected to be performed Tuesday.

Constance Glantz, 74, had been on hospice care at The Mulberry nursing home in Waverly, Nebraska, officials said in a news conference on Monday. Staff at the nursing home "believed she had passed" at 9:44 a.m., Chief Deputy Ben Houchin said. It's not clear how staff came to the conclusion she had died. 

A coroner was not called to confirm Glantz's death, Houchin said, noting that her supposed death fell outside the parameters in which that office would be summoned. Glantz was then transported to the Butherus-Maser & Love Funeral Home.

Houchin said it's not clear how many people saw Glantz between when she was declared dead and when she was found breathing. CBS affiliate KOLN reported that funeral home staff had transported the woman to Lincoln, Nebraska, and that a staff member from the home had noticed she was still breathing while preparing her for funeral arrangements. 

At 11:43 a.m., Lincoln Fire and Rescue was called to the funeral home and told that CPR was being done on a 74-year-old woman, officials said.

Glantz was transported to an area hospital.

An investigation is ongoing, Houchin said, noting that police "have not been able to find any criminal intent by the nursing home," and adding that it's unclear if any laws were broken.

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

The Mulberry nursing home told CBS News they had no comment on the situation. 

Similar cases were reported in 2023. An Iowa nursing home faced thousands of dollars in fines after a 66-year-old woman was found alive and "gasping for air" in a funeral home after being pronounced dead. Just days later, a New York funeral home found an 82-year-old woman alive and breathing shortly after she was declared dead at a nursing home.

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