Woman accused of concealing rotting corpse scheduled for court

A Carson City caretaker, accused of concealing the death of her patient and stealing from her after her death, is scheduled to appear in court today for a hearing on evidence against her.

Prosecutors hope to convince Justice of the Peace John Tatro to send 33-year-old Kelly Sue Hein to district court to face a felony trial. Barring new charges, Hein will be accused of elder abuse with bodily harm, theft, unlawful use of a credit card and check forgery.

Investigators say Hein lived with the decomposing body of 79-year-old Iris Barton for several weeks, during which she allegedly used the woman's credit cards and wrote checks from her bank account.

The body was discovered when Parole and Probation Division officers visited Barton's home at 4722 Blackrock Court on July 20 to check on probationer Kenneth Calihan, who was supposed to be living there. Although Calihan was not at the home, a parole officer smelled the body and discovered it in an upstairs bedroom.

The body was severely decomposed when investigators sent it to the Washoe County coroner for analysis. A physical examination didn't reveal signs of foul play and a chemical analysis has yet to be forwarded to the Carson City Sheriff's Department.

During a detective's interview the night of her arrest, Hein reportedly said that Barton had died on June 27 of natural causes, more than three weeks earlier. Investigators have not been able to confirm the time of death.

A full review of Barton's finances will also be part of the investigation. Hein told Detective Steve Johnson that she used Barton's bank account and credit card to obtain about $2,700.

In court papers filed this week, investigators listed five empty prescription bottles, four black maggot shells and two live maggots as evidence collected at the home and on Barton's body.

The afternoon they came to the home, probation officers became suspicious when Hein "demonstrated rapid, fractured speech patterns, jerky physical movements, dry mouth and could not maintain a steady subject of conversation," a report stated.

Also reported are allegations by associates that Hein was a regular user of methamphetamine.

Barton had been under the care of Hein for two years in June. Her husband Gene died in 1998after 40 years of marriage.

According to neighbor's reports, Hein moved into the home to care for Barton during a time of failing health. Hein originally lived next door with her husband and two children. The two are separated but not divorced. The family continues to live in the Blackrock Court home.

Hein is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.


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