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Fasting woman dead 'several days' when family found her, 911 caller says

TAMPA — A Polk County woman who died during a religious fast was dead "several days" when her family found her, according to a 911 call received by the Polk County Sheriff's Office on March 5.

In a recording of the 911 call released Monday, a woman tearfully tells an emergency operator that Evelyn Boyd, 55, had planned 21 days of fasting and prayer.

But when her family checked on her, the caller said, she wasn't breathing.

"They said she been dead for a few days," the caller says in disbelief.

"And you said she's beyond any help?" the operator asks.

"Yes," the woman answers.

Authorities say Boyd locked herself in a bedroom on Feb. 7 to pray and fast. She brought water and prayer requests and asked her husband not to disturb her.

After 26 days, family members forced the door open and found her dead.

Deputies don't plan to file charges, saying she appeared to have fasted willingly.

Boyd's husband of 33 years, John Boyd, started a Bartow Pentecostal church in 2003. He said his wife had fasted before, once for 40 days.

Fasting woman dead 'several days' when family found her, 911 caller says 03/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:34pm]
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