SUICIDE VERDICT IN DEATH MONDAY OF WILMA NELSON.
A coroner's jury late yesterday returned a verdict of "suicide by taking lye" in the death
of Wilma Cleva Nelson, 17 year old Field township girl who died Monday afternoon.
Three witnesses, Mrs. Luvada Nelson, mother of the girl, Charles Nelson, her father, and
Earl Oathout, her sweetheart, testified in the inquest which was conducted by Coroner
Howard P. Hester.
Both her father and sweetheart testified they were convinced that her taking the lye was accidental.
Oathout said that on the morning of March 12, Miss Nelson was at his home in Belle Rive and that she
had started to clean up the kitchen and pantry. "She found a can of lye and put some in her mouth,
thinking it was sugar," he said. "She spit it out as soon as she could and my mother came and gave
her some vinegar," he continued.
She was a patient at the hospital for ten days and her condition seemed to be better. Her condition
became worse about two weeks ago.
Members of the coroner's jury were Claude Riley, A. L. Smith, Gilbert Sherman, Orville Patton,
John Ward and Virgil Rollinson.
Funeral services were held at Hopewell Church at two o'clock this afternoon and burial followed in
the nearby cemetery.
Submitted by: Ken Richardson