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    Elderly woman drowned in bath after husband died and trapped her

    From:The Dominion Post   View:690   Date:2015-09-14

    An elderly woman drowned in a bath she was sharing with her husband after he died and pinned her in the water.


    The strange circumstances surrounding the deaths of Yun Kau Ng, 73, known as Louis, and his wife Chiu Ngor Ng, 74, known as Elaine, in October 2013 were revealed in a report released by coroner Chris Devonport on Monday.


    The couple, who were retired market gardeners from Auckland, had been holidaying around the North Island with their son and daughter-in-law.


    The party arrived at Napier's Deco City Motor Lodge on October 16 and went to dinner with three friends. When they returned to the motor lodge, Louis and Elaine told the others they were going to have a bath together.


    At 10.43pm their son went to check if everything was all right, having not heard from them for 45 minutes. He found the couple dead in the bath, with Elaine immersed in the water beneath Louis, who was face down.


    An autopsy by forensic pathologist John Rutherford found Louis Ng, who had a long medical history, died of a heart attack.


    Elaine Ng was frail and suffered from heart disease and dementia, but the cause of her death was thought to be drowning.


    "Whilst there was sufficient natural heart disease to account for death, there is no reason to believe that Mrs Ng would have died when she did from this alone, were it not for the immersion in water," Devonport said.


    "The immersion in water might not have resulted in Mrs Ng's death had she been fit enough to move Mr Ng's body."


    Elaine Ng's multiple health conditions may have impaired her ability to save herself, while her dementia may have been the source of "sufficient confusion" to prevent her acting in a "co-ordinated manner".


    Devonport said he was satisfied her drowning was caused when her husband died suddenly of natural causes, pinning her underwater in the bath they were sharing.
    A former neighbour of the couple, who did not want to be named, said they were both incredibly nice people who always enjoyed chatting over the back fence,  usually about horse racing.


    "They were a lovely couple and very popular about the place. You couldn't hope to meet nicer people."


    The neighbour was surprised to hear how they died, but said it was good the truth had come out as there had been a lot of speculation about the circumstances.


    Neither of them were in the best of health before their deaths, he said.

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