Woman dead in Wisconsin house; residents lived with corpse for 2 months

12:16 PM, May 10, 2008   |    comments
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A man, woman and two teenage children apparently shared a house in Necedah Township, Wisconsin with a corpse for two months before authorities found the body. At least one of the adults in the house insisted the dead woman inside wasn't "fully dead," and that they could pray her back to life. Earlier this week, sheriff's deputies in Juneau County, just east of Tomah, went to a home in Necedah Township to check on the welfare of 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth, after the woman's sister reported she had not heard from her in some time. When deputies arrived, the woman who answered the door at first refused to let deputies check on Middlesworth. The woman, Tammy Lewis, finally relented, and allowed the deputy to search the house. He found Middlesworth's remains in a heap on what appeared to be a toilet. Police reports indicate the smell of decay was "overpowering." The deputy ordered Lewis to take both of her children, ages 12 and 15, out of the house, due to the smell. Police say Lewis then refused to talk to them without her "superior." That turned up out to be Alan Bushey, who police say also goes by "Bishop John Peter Bushey." After Bushey arrived, Lewis told deputies that Middlesworth passed out a couple of months prior, and that Lewis had propped her up on the toilet. She then claimed "Bishop Bushey" told her that God would raise Middlesworth from the dead, and that Lewis and her children prayed for days in hopes of that happening. Police also interviewed the teenagers, who told them Bushey convinced them to be quiet about the body. They say Bushey told them demons were making it appear that Middlesworth was dead, and that if her death was discovered, the children would be sent to public school and be forced to get jobs. It's unclear what the relationship is between Bushey and Lewis, or their relationship to Middlesworth. The children called her "grandmother." Police say Lewis and the children shared the home with Middlesworth. The children have been placed in protective custody. The home is reportedly in decent condition, although Lewis and the children apparently used a pail for a bathroom because Middleworth's body was draped over the only toilet in the house. Both Bushey and Lewis are facing charges of causing mental harm to a child, and obstructing justice.

(Copyright 2008 by KARE 11. All Rights Reserved.)

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