Police do not suspect foul play in death of woman who disappeared from Clearwater retirement home

CLEARWATER — Clearwater police do not suspect any foul play in the disappearance and death of an 85-year-old woman who vanished from a retirement home before her body was discovered in nearby woods.

A detective found Lydia Jermann, last seen at 3:30 a.m. Monday in her residence at the seven-story Highland Terrace Retirement Center, dead near 1550 Lotus Path — just east of the Clearwater YMCA and less than half a mile from her apartment.

It appeared as though she had walked into a creek and fallen, said police spokeswoman Joelle Castelli. Her walker was nearby and her head was partially in the water, Castelli said.

Police declined to comment on the cause of death pending an autopsy report by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office.

Jermann had mild dementia, but was not monitored by the facility in which she had lived for more than two years.

Highland Terrace, which is conducting its own investigation into the events of the day, is not equipped with an Alzheimer's or dementia unit and allows residents to come and go as they please.

Marissa Lang can be reached at mlang@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4155.

Police do not suspect foul play in death of woman who disappeared from Clearwater retirement home 06/13/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:25pm]

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