HONESDALE - Wayne County Coroner Edward Howell has released the identity of the human remains found at a bed and breakfast on North Main Street in Honesdale, June 23.
The remains are that of Patricia Regina Richey, age 80, whose last known address was The Harvest Inn, 1415 North Main Street- where she was found.
Coroner Howell said on June 28, that the primary cause and manner of death have been ruled as “undetermined” due to the state of severe decomposition. An autopsy was performed. The Coroner pronounced her death at 9:22 a.m. on June 23.
PA State Police, Honesdale barracks, conducted the investigation.
Trooper Mark Keyes reported that the body was discovered in a bed by the facility landlord who was entering to inspect an air conditioning unit. A search warrant was filed by Trooper Sharon Palmer, June 23.
Emergency Medical Services were also dispatched to the room, which is on the third floor.
The elderly woman and Moira Richey, 51, were living on the second floor in one room, since around February 2013. The owners of the establishment asked Richey and the elderly female to move to the third floor, around June/July 2016 where they had “almost exclusive use” of that space. Because of this, the warrant notes, the owners could go for weeks without going on to that floor.
In late October/early November 2016, the owner wanted to remove an air conditioner, the warrant notes. Richey told the owner she wanted to clean up the place first.
When the air conditioner was removed, that is the last time the owners saw the victim, the warrant states.
In February or March 2017, Richey asked to move to a different room on the third floor due to respiratory issues, and she did move. When asked by the owner how the victim was doing, Richey said she “was doing good,” the court papers state.
When advised that maintenance was needed to be done in the apartment, Richey made excuses that this wasn’t a good time. At one point she stood in front of the door and refused entry to the owner, the warrant states.
On June 22, the owners informed Richey they were going into the apartment to install the air conditioner “… or they were calling the police.”
The following day, the owners gained entry and “…saw a bedspread covering a body.”
The owners told police there had been a foul odor over the last three or four weeks, and that “a strong smell of Febrile…” had permeated the building.
State Police are investigating the possible abuse of a corpse.
[Part of this story is based on a report from The Wayne Independent written by Melissa Lee, Editor.]