Sisters die from heat, found two weeks later

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Two Gulfport sisters were found dead Wednesday inside their mobile home. But Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said they actually died two weeks ago.

Elizabeth Thomas, 65, and Jennifer Thomas, 57, both died of heat stroke.

Hargrove said a concerned neighbor contacted the Department of Human Services on Monday. Wednesday, a DHS representative went to the mobile home to check on the sisters. When the ladies didn't answer the door, DHS called the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

When deputies arrived, they found the sisters sitting on a couch together dead. Elizabeth was taking care of Jennifer who had Down Syndrome.

Hargrove said there was no air conditioning in the trailer, but two brand new window units were found sitting on the floor. The neighbor who gave the units to the sisters told WLOX he bought the air conditioners three years ago. At the time, he offered to install them, but the women wouldn't let him. Officials said others also offered to put the units in, but were refused.

The window units that were installed were putting out hot air, making the temperature inside the trailer above 90 degrees.

Hargrove reminds everyone to check on elderly neighbors and family members as often as possible. Also, remember to drink water and stay out of the heat.

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