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Death of 72-year-old Wichita woman ruled a homicide

Posted at 2:08 PM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 15:08:25-05

WICHITA, Kan. — The death of a 72-year-old Wichita woman who was letting a homeless man stay in her yard and was found undressed from the waist down has been ruled a homicide.

The coroner wrote in the autopsy that Rita Golden suffered injuries in July that “would have resulted in severe physical and/or emotional stress that would induce a cardiac arrhythmia in an already labile heart further compromised by her lung disease.” The autopsy described blunt force injuries and possible asphyxia by smothering. The report said she also had emphysema and a lung condition including a blood clot, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The report said Wichita police who searched her home found the homeless man in a closet in one of the bedrooms.

No one had been charged in her death. Police did not respond to an emailed inquiry about the case Monday afternoon.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said in an email that the case “remains under consideration pending the results of additional forensic analysis.”