Deputies: Woman kept company with dead 78-year-old boyfriend to conceal his death
Investigators say that the man was in hospice care in his Rowan County home.
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Deputies in Rowan County have charged a 46-year-old woman with failing to report the death of her 78-year-old boyfriend.
Jennifer Elizabeth Ferguson, who was living with the victim, was charged on Monday.
Investigators say that the man was in hospice care in his Rowan County home. They say that a hospice nurse making a routine visit to the house noticed that the man was dead. Investigators were notified and responded to the scene.
On Tuesday, investigators said they believed the man had been dead for at least three days. They say Ferguson told them she had been caring for him and talking with him.
The man did have a terminal illness, deputies said, but his death is under investigation and investigators are awaiting autopsy results.
Ferguson is now out on bond on a charge of failure to report a death and a citation for marijuana possession.
Ferguson was charged with drug trafficking in 2014. At that time, deputies said she used a forged prescription to buy 250 methadone tablets at a local pharmacy.
In 2008, Ferguson, who was also known as Jennifer E. Swanda, was convicted of felony accessory after the fact of second-degree murder. Swanda and four others were accused of helping to cover up a 2006 Dan Street murder and hiding the body of Sven Warren Spearman in the woods.
Swanda/Ferguson was released from prison in September 2011 after serving nearly five years of a maximum 6.7-year sentence.
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