The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office has determined that no charges will be filed against the 90-year-old husband of an 83-year-old woman who died by suicide in her home in Doylestown Township last month.
An investigation by the Doylestown Township Police Department found that the woman lived with her husband of 60 years and had been receiving hospice care for terminal cancer since late August.
Doylestown Township police officers were dispatched to the home and located the deceased woman on the morning Oct. 11, but their investigation found that the woman had died the evening before, the DA’s office said last night via CrimeWatch.
Police found the woman in the front seat of her vehicle in the garage, which was opened when officers arrived. The vehicle was off, and the key fob was in the front center cup-holder.
The investigation found that the woman had a matter of only days to weeks to live at the time of her death and had been researching doctor-assisted death options and suicide. The woman’s husband said his wife’s health had been in rapid decline in the weeks prior to her death.
On the day she died, the DA’s office said, he returned to the house after being away several hours and heard the car running inside the closed garage. He later found his wife comatose and barely responsive. Because she had discussed with him her intent to end her own life, he did not shut off the car’s engine. He returned to the garage later and found she had no pulse.
A medical examiner told police any amount of carbon monoxide would have resulted in this woman’s death due to her already fragile state. While aiding and/or causing a suicide is a crime under Pennsylvania law, the husband’s actions showed he did neither. The husband did not have a legal requirement to attempt to save his wife. Under the law, he did not commit a crime, the DA’s office said. Therefore, he will not be charged criminally.
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office considers this matter closed.