Funeral Industry News

Woman "Stiffs" Cops by Hiding in Coffin

May 20, 2010

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Woman "Stiffs" Cops by Hiding in Coffin

imageA Philadelphia woman faces escape charges after she allegedly hid in a coffin at a central Pennsylvania funeral home after running away from authorities in handcuffs.

Nineteen-year-old Nicole April Kelly was arraigned Monday on charges stemming from the alleged escape on May 13.

Police say Kelly was being transported to jail to await extradition to Delaware County on other charges stemming from two outstanding warrants. The outstanding warrants were discovered when Kelly appeared in court last Thursday on separate charges, reports the Lewistown Sentinal.

While being transported from court to the Mifflin County Correctional Facility Kelly told her captors that she, ?just couldn?t do this,? and successfully ran from them while still in handcuffs, according to the Sentinal.

Authorities lost sight of the 19-year-old as she ran toward the Brown Funeral Home in Mifflintown. Police searched with dogs and a helicopter for several hours until the owner of the funeral home, Dan Brown, found her hiding inside a coffin at his business.

Brown discovered Kelly?s presence when he entered the funeral home at 9 p.m. and saw that a phone line was in use. He picked up the line and heard Kelly?s voice, who told him she had the wrong number.

Brown told his wife to call police while he went to the coffin showroom in the building. He saw Kelly run to hide and he grabbed her wrist and held her down, while she tried to bite him, until police arrived.

Kelly now faces charges of escape, flight to avoid apprehension, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and simple assault, according to the Sentinal.

Kelly remains jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.

The funeral home is seeking $365 in restitution for damage to a coffin Kelly allegedly hid in and then kicked out of while trying to evade authorities.

Photo: Getty Images