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Palm Coast Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 1 year ago

Woman, 70, found incapacitated in home near two dead dogs

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Sue Coates, 70, was breathing but unable to speak when rescuers found her after a neighbor reported not having seen her for a week.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

A 70-year-old woman was found incapacitated and lying on the floor of her home next to two dead dogs after her neighbor called the Sheriff's Office Oct. 17 to report that she hadn't seen the older woman for almost a week.

The woman, Sue Coates, also hadn't taken out her trash that morning or the week before, the neighbor reported to deputies. 

A deputy arrived at the home on Palm Coast's Llama Trail at about 12:25 p.m. Oct. 17 to find emergency crews already at the door.

No one answered.

But the deputy smelled the odor of decomposition. The deputy and the first responders headed to the back off the house, looking for an entrance, and found a window cracked open.

The deputy called out to announce his presence, but got no answer and entered the house. 

There were two dogs that looked like German shepherds lying dead on the floor.

Further inside, the deputy found Coates lying on her back on the living room floor between a couch and a table. She was breathing but unable to speak, and look like she'd ben lying in the same position for a long time. A third dog — this one living — sat beside her.

A second deputy brought the dog outside while rescuers prepared to take Coates to Florida Hospital Flagler.

Animal Control removed the bodied of the two dead dogs, and the living dog was taken to the Humane Society while Coates was taken to the hospital.

Staff there told the deputy that Coates had "severe decomposition" on the back side of her body from laying too long in one spot. 

The deputies found no evidence of criminal involvement in what had happened, and asked hospital staff to ask Coates to contact them once she is able.

The Sheriff's Office turned the case over to the Department of Children and Families.

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