BOSTON – The son of a 100-year-old woman who was found strangled in her nursing home bed with a plastic bag over her head says his mother had seemed happy at the facility.
In routine check of patients at Brandon Woods Nursing home on Sept. 24, workers found Elizabeth Barrow dead in her bed, Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter said Wednesday.
Initially, police speculated it was a suicide. It has now been ruled a homicide after autopsy results showed the cause of death was strangulation, Sutter said in a statement Wednesday. The district attorney's office declined to release other details.
A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that Barrow was found with a plastic bag over her head in a room she shared with a woman in her late 90s. There were no obvious signs of a struggle. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Investigators were unaware of any conflicts Barrow may have had with others, the official said.
Barrow's only child, Scott Barrow, told The Standard-Times of New Bedford the family celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 21.
The family, including her three grandchildren, took her out for lunch and went shopping for winter clothes the day before she died and she was in good health and spirits, he said.
Elizabeth Barrow and her husband, A. Raymond, both moved to Brandon Woods about 4 1/2 years ago, he said.
"She loved the nursing home. She had a lot of friends there," he said. Her husband died about two years ago after 65 years of marriage.
Scott Picone, executive director of Brandon Woods, said Wednesday night that "the facility grieves for Elizabeth's family." He said Brandon Woods officials are cooperating with authorities.
The nursing home president, identified in public records as Frank Romano Jr. of Rowley, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.