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Police: Ky. woman trapped in closet after storms

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) – Authorities believe an elderly woman sought refuge in a closet after storms passed through Kentucky last week but died after the door handle fell off, trapping her inside for days.

Somerset police Lt. Shannon Smith says officers found the body of 74-year-old Helen Placke under blankets on Monday inside the bedroom closet of her home. Somerset is about 75 miles south of Lexington, Ky.

The Commonwealth Journal ( reports that Smith said the woman apparently shook the door hard enough that the handle came apart.

Coroner Richard New said Placke died of natural causes but because of the accident. He says if she had been able to get water and her medication, she likely would not have died.

State officials said Wednesday that 23 people died after Friday’s storms.

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