TOPEKA, Kan. — A 78-year-old woman found dead of exposure in her unheated home had a stack of $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds several inches thick stored neatly in a box, authorities said today.
The woman, identified as Mary Milleson, died Saturday or Sunday of hypothermia, said Dr. Robert Jensen, deputy Shawnee County coroner. Her body was discovered Wednesday in her home where the only source of heat was a burner and oven on an electric stove.
Temperatures in the Topeka area the past week have dipped into the single digits.
Police spent several hours Wednesday counting the thick stack of $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds and certificates of deposit found in a metal box and in a cedar chest. They declined to release the total.
But Topeka police Lt. Ed White said that Milleson, a widow who lived alone, was "a wealthy lady."
Jensen said Milleson, a former schoolteacher, had sufficient income to pay for heat but ordered KPL Gas Service Co. to turn off the heat to her home more than a year ago because she did not want to pay the bills.