Alicia Witt’s parents — Robert Witt, 87, and Diane Witt, 75, — were found dead in their home on Monday night, December 20, after Alicia Witt asked a cousin to do a welfare check on them. Police could not quickly determine the Hallmark star’s parents’ cause of death, and officials are now waiting on the medical examiner’s report. But new clues are emerging as to what might have happened so close to Christmas, including court cases related to damage to their home and health issues her mom may have suffered as a result.
Her Mom Had Health Difficulties After an Ice Storm Damaged Their Home, According to Court Records
Witt’s parents had reported having health issues after their home was damaged, which one neighbor told the Boston Herald was in “terrible condition.” According to court documents obtained by Telegram & Gazette, Diane Witt reported health problems after an ice storm on December 12, 2008, had damaged their home. Court records from a 2011 case filed against Hanover Insurance claimed that mold and fiberglass exposure had left Diane Witt with “difficulty with her memory [and] with communication.” The court records also said she suffered problems with breathing, sleeping, congestion, and nosebleeds as a result.
Telegram & Gazette reported that the case claimed that the $110,000 paid was not enough to repair the damage to their home. The insurance company’s lawyer, in response, claimed in 2017 that the couple only made rudimentary repairs, including putting a tarp over the damaged roof. The city threatened a $10,000 fine in 2014 if the tarp wasn’t removed, but it still remained, Telegram & Gazette reported.
The Hanover Insurance’s lawyer wrote that the couple’s home “remains in a state of disrepair to this date.”
On December 11-12, 2008, a major ice storm led to a power loss for 375,000 customers in Massachusetts, Telegram reported in February 2021. More than 100,000 people in Worcester County alone were without power. It was a historic ice storm for the county, leading to an inch or more of ice. The Landmark reported that the storm caused millions of dollars in damage. A state of emergency was declared for the region and portions affected were named a federal disaster area.
The Couple Had Heating Problems, But It’s Not Known If That Played a Role in Their Deaths
The couple had heating problems in their home at one point, but it’s not known if that played a role in their deaths. A dispatcher told officers who responded to the welfare check that they were using a relative’s space heater after their furnace broke the week before, and they had “compromised immune systems,” Telegram & Gazette reported.
However, other neighbors told Boston 25 that they hadn’t heard about any heating issues at the home, and they saw an oil truck making a delivery recently before the couple died.
Officials told Boston 25 that there were no signs of trauma and that hypothermia might have played a role in the Witts’ deaths. One of her parents was wearing a coat in their home when they were found. It had been 15 degrees the previous night, Telegram & Gazette reported.
Worcester Fire Deputy Chief Adam Roche told Telegram & Gazette that there were no signs of carbon monoxide in the home. He told Boston 25 that they used a meter in the home and air readings were all normal. However, an official speculated to Telegram & Gazette that noxious gases might have dissipated after so many emergency personnel were opening and closing the doors when they responded.
Robert Witt Had Several Falls in Recent Years
In addition to his cancer, Robert Witt also reportedly had several falls over the years. Telegram & Gazette reported that he filed legal action connected to three falls, including a 2012 fall outside a bank (the case was dismissed), a 2014 fall in a supermarket parking lot, and a 2015 fall in a hole that the city left after a tree was removed. He was awarded $1,000 for the third case.
Neighbors Said They Didn’t Leave the Home Much, But Alicia Witt Would Send a Car to Pick Them Up When She Was in Town
Court documents obtained by Telegram & Gazette revealed that the Witts stayed in their home most of the time because Robert Witt’s cancer put him at risk of COVID-19. Neighbors told police that the couple often didn’t answer the door when they knocked, and they didn’t have cable TV or a computer.
One neighbor said: “In the last four years we haven’t seen them at all.”
A neighbor told Boston Herald that Alicia Witt had bought her parents a station wagon, but it mostly just sat in the driveway. A neighbor told Telegram & Gazette that they were proud of their daughter and enjoyed her visits. Daily Mail reported that Witt would send a car to pick her parents up whenever they were in town, so they could spend time together.
Alicia Witt said in a statement to Telegram & Gazette: “I reached out to a cousin who lives close to my parents to check on them. Sadly, the outcome was unimaginable. I ask for some privacy at this time to grieve and to wrap my head around this turn of events, and this surreal loss.”
The Couple Was Kind-Hearted
Neighbors told Telegram & Gazette that Alicia Witt’s parents were so kindhearted, her dad didn’t even want to remove a family of bunnies from a broken-down car after the animals had moved into it.
The neighbor said they were the most “kind and gentle souls I have ever met.”
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I LIVED 2 DOORS FROM THE WITT’S SINCE 1978. ALICIA SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. THEY USED TO PICK MY DUMPSTER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FOR CANS TO CASH IN FOR FOOD. ALICIA SWAM IN HEATED POOLS AT HER BEVERLY HILLS HOME WHILE HER PARENTS FROZE TO DEATH. I WATCHED THEM TAKE THEM OUT. THEY LOOKED LIKE POPSICLES. YOU CAN SHOW ME ALL THE PHOTOS OF HER WITH HER PARENTS. PHONY…POSED SHOTS WHEN SHE PLAYED IN WORCESTER. AS A NURSE FOR 39 YEARS I HAVE WATCHED PARENTS BE TAKEN FROM THEIR HOMES UNABLE TO CARE FOR THEMSELVES. I CRIED FOR DAYS WHEN I HAD TO HAVE THE POLICE ESCORT MY MOTHER OUT OF HER HOME. SHE WAS NOT EATING, BATHING, OR ANSWERING THE PHONE. SHE WAS ALWAYS FALLING AND WHEN I SAW THE BRUISES AND BLOOD I KNEW I HAD TO DO SOMETHING. SHE SPENT THE LAST 10 YEARS OF HER LIFE IN THE BELMONT HOME WHERE SHE RECEIVED COMPLETE AND WONDERFUL CARE. SNACK AND 3 MEALS A DAY. SHE SHOULD HAVE HAD THE POLICE REMOVE HER PARENTS FOR THEIR OWN SAKE AND THEY WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY. I DON’T CARE WHAT THE OTHER NEIGHBOR’S SAY…..I SAW DIANE AND SHE ALWAYS TOLD ME SHE WAS HUNGRY. IT BROKE MY HEART. IF YOU AS A MOTHER LEFT A 4 MONTH OLD BABY IN A HOUSE THAT WAS 15 DEGREES AND WENT OUT DANCING AND DRINKING TIL DAWN AND YOUR BABY FROZE TO DEATH…YOU WOULD BE CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENCE IF NOT MURGER BY OMISSION. DON’T EVER TRY TO TELL ME THAT ALICIA DIDN’T KNOW THE STATE THEIR HOUSE WAS IN..SURE SHE DID. AND WHERE IS THE MYSTERIUS BROTHER OF HERS IN ALL THIS??? I WILL ALWAYS THINK OF THIS AS THE “MURDER HOUSE” ALTHOUGH THERE IS GREAT INTEREST IN BUYING THE HOUSE AND LOT ALREADY. SHAME ON YOU ALICIA…SHAME.
I am also a nurse and have seen patients who shouldn’t be living alone at home but because they are declared cognitively competent are allowed to do so. I had one patient who was admitted in the hospital several times because she had fallen at home and had remained on the floor for several days at a time but because she was declared mentally competent, she remained at home. I don’t know the facts of this case but if you have taken care of elderly people before you should also know that some are fiercely independent and do not want help. I would imagine that either your mother wasn’t cognitively competent or either she listened to what you had to say in order to have her go to a care home. Again, I do not know the facts of this case but be careful with accusations.
If I was Alicia Witt I would be ashamed to have left my parents living in such a terrible situation. They say she offered to pay for repairs and they refused, I still would have had the repairs done. What a sad, sad story. I would never be able to forgive myself if this would have been my parents.
I’m just curious why anything was broken in that house seeing as their daughter is a successful actor.