Elderly woman's death ruled a homicide

By Beau Ebenezer

March 20, 2014 Updated Mar 20, 2014 at 9:35 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- An elderly woman's death is ruled a homicide due to neglect.

Thursday afternoon, the Tazewell County Coroner's office held a news conference regarding the death of 66-year-old Carole Levin.

Levin was found dead in her bed last July, weighing only 52 pounds and matted to the bed in feces.

Since then, the state's attorney's office has been investigating the case with the coroner's office.

Thursday, Tazewell County Coroner, Jeff Baldi, announced the death is ruled a homicide.

Baldi said the ruling was determined based on serious signs of neglect.

"The outward appearance was very troubling," said Baldi. "They were very aware. Deiters Funeral Home made a good call. They got back to us, and we sent additional personnel out there."

Levin's body was initially taken to the funeral home.

The funeral home recommended an autopsy be done after discovering the body's harsh condition.

Now, a local agency said a new law will allow them notify the coroner's office of neglect cases before a person dies.

"In the past we could only do that when the person would die, then we would call the coroner," said Center for Prevention of Abuse's, Joyce Derezy. "Now we don't have to wait for that person to die. We can give the coroner and law enforcement a heads up."

Carole Levin's daughter, 42-year old Jennifer Levin was charged with three counts of criminal neglect of an elderly person last week.

A preliminary hearing is set for April 3rd at the Tazewell County Courthouse.

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