JPSO: 84-year-old woman strangled to death at Metairie senior facility

JPSO investigates death of 84-year-old woman

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - An 84-year-old woman was strangled to death Tuesday night a senior living facility, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

Police said officers were called to the Christopher Homes' Metairie Manor facility at 4937 York Street around 7:55 p.m. for what first appeared to be a death by natural causes. However, an autopsy Wednesday morning revealed that Pauline Ballon died from strangulation.

Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said the initially scene did not raise any suspicion, but he said after the pathologist performing the autopsy found something out of the ordinary, two additional pathologists were called in to help and all agreed on strangulation as the cause of death.

A security guard discovered Ballon unresponsive lying face down in her bed.

Police have not identified a motive or suspect.

The facility, which is operated by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, released the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the death of our resident Pauline Ballon and we pray for the repose of her soul and for the consolation of her family and friends.  At this time we are cooperating fully with authorities and will continue to do so throughout their investigation. At this time we have no further comment and refer all inquiries to the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office."

FOX 8 talked with couple of people who live at the nursing home Wednesday afternoon. They said any guests who come into the facility must sign in and residents must use a key fob to enter the building.

A study of strangulation deaths by the San Diego City Attorney looked at 100 cases over a five year period and found that 62 strangulation cases had no visible signs of injuries, and only 22 cases had redness and scratch marks. However, the study found often injuries were too minor to photograph.

Anyone with information is asked to call the JPSO Investigation's Bureau at 504-364-5300.

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