NC woman accused of hiding mother's corpse appears in court

Amy Blanche Stewart, (Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)
Amy Blanche Stewart, (Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, (WECT) - The daughter of a woman who was found dead in her home is facing felony charges for concealment of death.

Amy Blanche Stewart, 47, made her first court appearance Thursday in front of a district court judge in Wilmington, and did not enter a plea.

New Hanover County sheriff's deputies have charged Amy Blanche Stewart with concealment of death. That's a felony.

She is the daughter of Blanche Roth, the woman found decomposing inside her home Monday.

According to District Attorney Ben David, Stewart may not receive any jail time and could face probation or serve community service.

Someone called 911 around 11:30 Tuesday morning, saying Blanche Roth was unconscious inside her home, but according to authorities, the 87-year-old woman may have died in the spring of 2009.

While she's been dead in her home on Cherry Laurel Court for months, people have been coming in and out of the home on a regular basis, which has neighbors shocked.

According to a neighbor, they've seen kids coming out of the home to catch the school bus in the mornings.

"How did they not notice it prior to that?" questioned neighbor Amy McHugh.  "How did neighbors not know?"

Ray Taylor lives in the home directly next to where the body was found.  He has lived in the house since 1995.

Taylor says he's seen people at the home on a daily basis, and added Roth's family members have been living there.

"It's mostly her kids," said Taylor.  "How could they let her lay there?  I don't know.  I understand the smell was very bad in that house."

According to David, five people were living in the home with the dead body.

Anyone who knew about Roth's death can be charged with a misdemeanor for concealment of death.

The cause of death is unknown at this time, but officials say there are no signs of foul play.  Authorities are waiting for autopsy results to confirm a cause of death.

The district attorney's office is looking into claims that family members were concealing the body in order to collected financial gain.

Roth's body is currently in Chapel Hill awaiting an autopsy. The daughter is expected to make her initial court appearance Thursday morning.

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