LARAMIE, KY – Agnes Harper, the oldest woman in the world, died mysteriously in her sleep Thursday night at her nursing home. She was 115.
Forensic medical experts and homicide investigators are at a loss to explain her passing. “We haven’t ruled anything out,” said Chief Clyde Barnsdell of the Laramie Police Department. “Anytime a hundred-and-fifteen-year-old woman stops breathing for no apparent reason, it’s always suspicious.”
Harper’s surviving children are grief-stricken. “We’re all in shock,” said Ogden Harper, 92. “None of us saw this coming. We don’t know how to break this to the great-great grandchildren.”
Authorities questioned workers at the Bennington Nursing Home, where Ms. Harper was a resident, but answers seem to be slow in coming.
“I entered her room with a tray of oatmeal and fresh juice, just like I always do,” said Maria Garza, a nurse who has been caring for Ms. Harper for over five years, “but she wouldn’t open her eyes. I tried calling her name, but nothing. I thought, ‘Oh my God, she’s dead. A Dios Mio! They’re going to send me back to Guadalajara.'”
“There were no signs of a struggle,” said Barnsdell. “No marks on her body other than those typical of the ravages of age.”
Barnsdell said that his department turned the case over to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. “This doesn’t seem to be case of foul play,” he said. “Perhaps she had some sort of undiagnosed illness.”
But doctors at the CDC are equally baffled. “We’ve looked through our database to try to find similar cases,” said a CDC spokesperson. “But so few people live to be the age of Ms. Harper, it really gives us nothing to go on.”
An autopsy is scheduled for later in the week, but early indications remain inconclusive. As a result, the CDC has issued a warning to all Americans over the age of 114 that their health could be compromised by an “as-of-yet-to-be-determined fatal condition.”
“Better safe than sorry,” said the spokesperson. “The elderly are our most cherished asset in this country. We’d hate to see this ‘Old Person Plague’ – for lack of a better word – turn into an epidemic.”