Lodged in basement window, Ohio woman suffocates

AP News
Posted: Apr 13, 2011 9:00 PM
Lodged in basement window, Ohio woman suffocates

An Ohio man came home from an out-of-state trip to find the body of his wife stuck in a basement window, where she suffocated after apparently locking herself out of the house, authorities said Wednesday.

David Kline found the body of his 44-year-old wife, Esther, on Tuesday and called 911, police said. He told the dispatcher that his wife wasn't breathing.

"I just found my wife downstairs, and she's hanging partly in a window, and I think she's dead," Kline told the dispatcher.

Authorities believe she may have locked herself out; she had sent her husband a text saying: "I wish the spare key was here." The spare had apparently been borrowed, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The window is about 3 feet wide and a foot high.

"It was a narrow opening, smaller than a person's body," police Sgt. Jeff Mitchell told the Middletown Journal. "Not a whole lot of maneuvering room, because it's below ground in a window well."

Kline became stuck when she tried to get through the window feet first, and scuff marks on the wall from her shoes indicate she struggled to push herself free, Mitchell told The Enquirer.

She may have been pinned in the window for about nine hours, coroner's investigator Doyle Burke said.

"Essentially she couldn't breathe," Mitchell said.

The Warren County coroner's office said the death was accidental.