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Maryland Woman Falsely Declared Dead

SEVERNA PARK, Md. (AP) - A Maryland woman police reported dead after finding her blue and not breathing in her home was actually alive.

Police were called to check on 89-year-old Ruth Shillinglaw Johnson on Oct. 1. According to a report, officers found her motionless on her bathroom floor, and one officer noted an odor "similar to a decomposition smell."

But officers did not check for a pulse. Instead, they called Johnson's adult son and told him his mother was dead. The man said Johnson planned to donate her body to science. A State Anatomy Board employee arriving to take the body three hours later heard Johnson take a deep breath and saw her move her arm.

Johnson was rushed to a hospital. She was discharged Wednesday. Neighbors said she has been moved to a hospice.



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