Decatur Woman Lived with Husband’s Body For a Month

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT)- Decatur Police and Fire were called to a home Friday afternoon on Chestnut Street.   They say inside they found a man, Jessie Claude Kirby, 75, deceased from what's believed to be natural causes.

However, they say they found his elderly wife, Doris Kirby, 78, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, inside the home as well.  It's estimated that the Jessie Kirby had been dead for about a month.  Police told WHNT News 19 that Doris Kirby was in very poor condition, and was taken to Decatur-Morgan Hospital for treatment.

Police also say there were two dogs inside that appeared to have died from starvation.   Police did not release any details on why no one had checked on the couple for so long or who called them to the home.


    • Kay

      This is totally unacceptable, what kind of society do we live in that when someone has not been seen for several days that no body takes a moment to check on them.To let it go for over 30 days, I just can’t believe it

  • lesa slaton

    So sad… Neighbors need to get into the habit of checking on elderly neighbors everyday.. such a sad ending. Wonder why the wife never ventured outside.

  • Janice Martin

    There was a time when the postal service helped fill this gap. When I was a mail carrier 25 years ago, if someone was not getting their mail out of the box but did not have a hold on it, we told our supervisor who called the police. There is no longer that personal service. I remember so many customers who waited on their carrier just to hear the ‘hi, how are you?’ We were the elderly’s connection to the outside world.

    • Sue

      That is true! There are some elderly people who do not see anyone or drive anywhere. They will wait all day just to have someone- anyone say hello to them. A mail carrier or someone they know they can trust with a friendly smile. It is so sad to know that there are a LOT of very lonely elderly people. It is scary too because they are easy prey to some who realize their situation. I see a lot more elderly who go to nursing homes because of their fear of being alone. Actually they would rather stay in their own home.

  • Billie Sammons

    Thats so sad, no and days so called family always say their to busy or don’t have time to check in on the elderly in the family. Please if its only just to stop in to say hi and see how they are. CHECK IN ON THE ELDERLY…..

  • KB

    GOD bless her. I agree that someone should have checked in on them, especially with the extremely cold conditions we had.

  • TM

    — “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

  • Caregiver who cares

    As a caregiver, tears roll down my cheeks to think this poor lady spent a month uncared for or about. God have mercy on us as a society! We are more concerned about ourselves than to love our neighbor or take a moment to check on someone in this position. SHAME ON US!

    • Sue

      I agree! I also work with the elderly. People do not realize how much the elderly misses someone visiting and talking to them. It means the world to them to know someone cares enough to visit! I used to have a neighbor that was in her 90 ‘s. She was absolutely the best neighbor. I worked very long hours but I would visit on my days off. She was very interesting. She kept up with everything that was going on and was a pleasure to talk to for hours. PLEASE visit family/friends/neighbors when you have a few minutes. It is oh so sad to hear stories like this one!

      • Caregiver who cares

        People who have never been “friends” with the elderly really don’t know what a joy they are. I have had at least 3 ladies in their 90s who were some of my best friends. They are all gone now but I reflect back on all the blessings they were in my life. I visited them to cheer and encourage them but I left with the greatest blessing. They were fun and I laughed a lot during my visits. I don’t consider myself elderly at 65 but I am headed in that direction. When I am older, I pray that I will bless others as I have been blessed by the elderly I loved as grandparents. I also pray that God will give me the sweet spirit of my elderly “friends.” It really, really hurts when you lose them but oh what a blessing they have been in my life.

      • Bex

        Yes! The elderly are delightful! My husband and I are childfree, but I love elderly people so much that we joke about adopting them instead of ever having children. I used to love to spend whole days with my grandparents when they lived at a local assisted living facility. I even taught some of them how to play Apples to Apples & bought the facility three sets. Last I checked, all the ladies were still playing it every Wednesday! :)

  • Russell Robbins

    Meals on wheels was delivering meals daily to the home. Until recently (I believe it was Thursday) when the volunteer stopped the meals from the previous day was gone. On Friday he noticed the food from the day before was still there.After attempting to get someone to the door for several minutes he called Mrs. Kirby’s cousin to see if she had talked to her. This is when everything started and the plice were called.

  • Sue

    With having Alzheimer’s disease I am surprised Mrs. Kirby didn’t walk out and get lost. Terrible things happen to people with that disease abd usually they just wonder around. Maybe her husband was taking care of her and then died or he could have had the same disease. Elderly people have a lot of stress trying to look out for each other. Safety is an issue for everyone but especially them. Also one does not want to leave the other and the responsibilty is tremendous. GOD bless Mr. and Mrs. Kirby! So sad for him but he is in a better place. I hope Mrs. Kirby can be cared for properly. The poor dogs to have starved to death is awful. I love animals. It is too bad someone couldn’t have helped them with the whole situation. Thanks to. Meal on wheels someone finally found out what about the whole situation

  • jamison jones

    Sad as it is, this is the America we live in. We cherish and adore youthfulness to the detriment of our elderly. In other countries, the elderly are revered and treated with utmost respect. They are never sent away to retirement homes or anything. Its the obligation of the youth and family to look after them. Old age is wisdom in Africa and other continents. Here we treat our senior citizens like garbage. Shame on us, absolute shame on us. We’ve turned our senior citizens into some kind of minority. shame on us.

    • Sue

      You are absolutely right! Elderly are ignored-they have so much to say that is intelligent and interesting. They are treated like they do not exist. Remember that one day you will be that elderly person. Some parents or grandparents fear what decision their family will make if they cannot take care of themselves. That is the time when all that they have did for you should be remembered.

  • MeShon Thurston

    The thought that no one checked on them.. How sad. Glad I have no fear of that happening to me. I am only 37, but with 7 amazing kids I know when I get old I will be taken care of……

  • Mary

    This is the world we live in today! SELF CENTERED Human beings !!!
    GOD is NOT going to let things like this continue for much longer. HE is coming back SOON to get the one who are HIS. One of the fruits of the spirit is to “LOVE”. Not love yourself and forget about others. I PRAY that we learn what this Country was founded on and get back to it.
    GOD bless you Mrs. Kirby if you were my neighbor I would of been there. PLEASE AMERICA GET JESUS IN YOUR HEART!!!!

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