A 72-year-old Burnham woman died of a coronary artery disease-induced attack in April after a naked woman broke into her home and “jumped in bed” with her.

Those details have emerged from a medical examiner’s report, obtained Monday by the Morning Sentinel through a public records request.

On April 2, Maine State Police and the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from Joyce Wood, who reported an intruder in her house at 261 South Horseback Road between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.

State Police later charged Tara Shibles, 37, with manslaughter in connection to the case. A Waldo County Grand Jury in May indicted Shibles on charges of manslaughter, aggravated criminal trespassing and assault.

Her trial is tentatively set for December.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland previously said that family arrived on scene before police and helped Wood out to a car in the driveway, where “she was stricken and died.”


Police called the case and circumstances “bizarre” as they investigated what happened that night.

According to the medical examiner’s report, which is written by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Wood reported someone had broken into her house and jumped into her bed.

According to the autopsy report, police found “a naked woman hiding in the home” and shoes down the road that “probably belonged to the naked woman.”

McCausland said that Shibles was questioned for hours, but was initially released without charges.

Angie Huff, a cashier at Patterson’s Store, previously said that police said Shibles had attended parties held late Saturday or early Sunday before entering Wood’s home, suggesting she may have been under the influence. Huff answered questions for police about who had held the reported parties while working that Sunday in April.

McCausland said Monday he didn’t have any more information on the case beyond what was initially released, and that any new information would come out in court.


The Attorney General’s Office, which is handling the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Wood suffered a sudden death after the invasion, caused by ischemic cardiovascular disease, also known as coronary artery disease. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide.

Ischemic cardiovascular disease is a “long, chronic process” that diminishes the blood flow to the heart, according to Mark Belserene, an administrator in the medical examiner’s office.

Any strain on the body can set the person with the disease up for a “fatal event.”

“The bottom line is, it is the set-up for a heart attack,” Belserene said.

In Wood’s case, the medical examiner determined that the fright, or shock, of the incident was large enough to cause a fatal event.


Wood was well-known in the Burnham area and neighbors remembered her as kind, funny and loving.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239


Twitter: @madelinestamour

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