Thorndike woman charged in bizzare Burnham death

Tara Shibles (Waldo County Jail )

BURNHAM (WGME) - State Police say a Thorndike woman has been charged with manslaughter, accused of breaking into an elderly woman's home and literally scaring her to death.

The arrest comes more than a month after Joyce Woods, 72, died just outside of her Burnham home.

'People don't talk about anything except this," said Dion Rossignol, who works at the local market and is a friend of Wood's family. "People feel like they've been violated. The whole town feels that way."

According to the Medical Examiners Office, Wood suffered from heart disease and died suddenly as the result of a home invasion.

"Joyce was a good person," said Rossignol. " She was in the store everyday."

Wood died in April under unusual circumstances, and now State Police say Tara Shibles, 36, is responsible. She's charged with manslaughter, aggravated criminal trespassing and assault.

State Police said Wood called 911 in the early morning hours, after someone entered her home.

Rossignol said she and her boyfriend, Wood's nephew, got there before police. She said Wood was shaken up and saying an intruder had climbed into bed with her and wouldn't let her turn on the light.

As she was recounting the incident, Rossignol said Wood tilted her head back and closed her eyes. She said Wood couldn't be revived.

"She was pretty grief stricken," Rossignol said.

Rossignol said Shibles is known around town, but had no direct connection to Wood.

"I'm glad that something's being done, because it's been really hard for the family," she said.

Shibles is being held at the Waldo County Jail on $5,000 cash bail or $20,000 surety.

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