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North Rockland Daily Voice serves Garnerville, Grassy Point, Stony Point, Thiells, Tomkins Cove, Village of Haverstraw & West Haverstraw in Haverstraw Town

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Police & Fire

Woman Found Dead Following Standoff Identified

A woman was found dead inside a Middletown apartment after a stand-off with her partner.
A woman was found dead inside a Middletown apartment after a stand-off with her partner. Photo Credit: Google Maps/Street View

The City of Middletown Police Department has identified a woman found dead on the floor of an apartment they had been trying to gain entry into after receiving reports of a horrible smell coming from within.

Helen Niven, 63, of Middletown has been identified as the woman found following a stand-off with police by her long-time partner, William Nott, 70, also of Middletown, said Middletown Police Lt. Jeffry R. Thoelen.

"An autopsy conducted by the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office did not reveal any signs of physical trauma or abuse," Thoelen said. "Her death does not appear suspicious at this time, and is likely the result of natural causes."

The incident began around 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, when a resident called the Middletown Police Department reporting two deceased people inside the apartment at  54 Cottage Street, Apt. 5, said Thoelen.

Police and EMS personnel arrived on the scene, and upon trying to make entry into the apartment, Nott, made threatening statements and refused to allow anyone to enter, Thoelen said.

Police set up a perimeter around the residence and attempted to establish communication with Nott to negotiate his surrender. All attempts at communication failed, he said.

Assistance was then requested from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group.

Working together with the Crisis Negotiation Team of the Middletown Police Department, personnel from the Special Operations group evacuated the apartment building and eventually forced entry into the apartment around 10 p.m.

Nott was taken into custody and found to be suffering from a mental health emergency and other medical problems, Thoelen said.

He was transported to Orange Regional Medical Center via a Mobile Life Support Services ambulance.

'He remains under the care of hospital staff at this time," Thoelen said. "He is currently in stable condition."

Nott is not being charged with anything at this time, he added.

The department is awaiting toxicology results, which may take several weeks to be processed. At that time, an official cause of death will be determined.

Anyone with information about the incident or the residents of the apartment are encouraged to contact the Middletown Police Department at 845-343-3151.

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