Death of Elderly Woman Found Inside Home Ruled a Homicide

By Wire Reports and NBC10 Staff
|  Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013  |  Updated 1:01 PM EDT
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The death of an elderly woman has been ruled a homicide.

NBC10 - Deanna Durante

The death of an elderly woman has been ruled a homicide.

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The death of an elderly woman found inside her southern New Jersey home this week has been ruled a homicide.

Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi announced the finding Wednesday, two days after 81-year-old Laura Coggins' body was found by a family member inside her home on the 800 block of Westfield Drive in Cinnaminson Township.

Bernardi declined to discuss specific reasons for the finding, citing the ongoing investigation. But he said the death was not attributable to natural causes. Later on during the day, Coggins' death was ruled a homicide.

Linda Atkinson, Coggins' neighbor, says she spotted police tape, squad cars and ambulances outside of her door on Monday. Atkinson says Coggins once knocked on her door over the summer, appearing to be confused.

"The woman had been disoriented before," Atkinson said. "She was knocking on my door one time in the summer asking for her husband."

While Atkinson isn't sure whether Coggins was married, she says she heard through neighbors that family members were caring for her shortly before her death. Another neighbor, George Privitaera, says he also saw another person being taken to the hospital after Coggins' body was found.

"I did see one person taken out who was obviously going to the hospital because they were in a semi-erect position in the stretcher," Privitaera said.

NBC10 asked police and prosecutors who the other person was and whether or not they were connected to Coggins' death. They didn't answer our questions however. They also have not yet revealed how Coggins was killed or if anyone else lived with her.

No arrests have been made.

Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.

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