Investigation into woman’s death continues

SALEM – A Cedar Ridge Drive woman found in her home Friday had been dead for an “extended” period of time, Det. Dave Talbert said Sunday.

Barbara Coe, 72, who had lived at the residence with husband Thomas H. Coe, 83, for 20 years was identified as the decedent after police responded to the apartment for a attempted suicide Friday afternoon.

Thomas Coe was taken to the Salem Community Hospital and transferred to another hospital for evaluation after he threatened to harm himself and there was evidence that supported those threats, Talbert said but declined to elaborate.

He said there was no firearm. Thomas Coe had no physical injuries.

The investigation is “very preliminary,” Talbert said. “We’re covering all our bases and treating it as a homicide.”

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s office performed an autopsy on Saturday, Talbert said, adding it will be awhile before the report is issued.

Some time had passed since her death, he said without elaborating.

No one is in custody and no charges have been filed.

Thomas Coe served as the city law director in the 1960s.

Police initially responded to the apartment of the Coes’ neighbor Friday afternoon for a report of an attempted suicide. Mr. Coe was at the neighbor’s apartment. When officers were trying to convince him to seek medical treatment, Coe told them his wife was upstairs in the Coes’ apartment, where she was found unresponsive in bed.

Chief J.T. Panezott had said Friday night that Mr. Coe was distraught and appeared confused.

“I did interview Mr. Coe. He is cooperating,” Talbert said Saturday.

He added that, from what police have ascertained thus far, the Coes had secluded themselves and had no contact with family – including their children – in a long while. Talbert said they have lived in their present location over 20 years.

In addition to the city police department, the Columbiana County Coroner and Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation are conducting the investigation. Deputy Coroner Brandi Phillips was contacted Saturday and said no additional information was going to be released at that time, saying she was unsure whether all of the Coes’ family had been notified.

– Staff member Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert contributed to this story.

Larry Shields can be reached at