Atty: Ohioan Had Contacted Assisted-Suicide Group

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Mason, Ohio (AP) -- A lawyer says a woman found dead in her southeast Ohio home this week had contacted an assisted-suicide group about her desire to die.

A lawyer for the New Jersey-based final exit network says 69-year-old Phyllis Hixson of Athens joined the group in 2008 and had spoken with a board member in Ohio as recently as a few weeks ago.

But, attorney Robert Rivas said Tuesday, the group stopped attending suicides after four members were arrested in February in Georgia and Maryland.

Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly says Hixson had respiratory problems and appears to have died from inhaling a gas.

Kelly says Georgia authorities had told Ohio investigators Monday that members of an assisted-suicide group had been in contact with Hixson.

He is investigating the death as a homicide.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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