Northwestern Press

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Audrey Penn Audrey Penn

Investigation continues into death of Audrey Penn

Thursday, September 21, 2017 by Paul Willistein AND DEBBIE GALBRAITH in Local News

Nearly one month after a woman was reported missing from a home for senior citizens in Salisbury Township, the search is over.

Audrey Penn, 78, was pronounced dead 3:44 p.m. Sept. 17 by Deputy Coroner Jack Fliter after her body was found in a drainage ditch in the area of Hamilton Boulevard and Kressler Road, Lower Macungie Township.

Initially identified as Jane Doe by Fliter, she was positively identified as Penn in a news release to the media 9 p.m. Sept. 18 following testing earlier in the day.

According to information provided by the office of Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim, an autopsy was performed Sept. 19 and Penn’s cause of death is pending further forensic testing.

First Deputy Coroner Eric Minnish stated that in addition to the coroner’s office, Penn’s death is being investigated by Pennsylvania State Police Troop M, Fogelsville, and the Salisbury Township Police Department.

Penn, who had Alzheimer’s disease, lived in Woodland Terrace at the Oaks Senior Living Community, Salisbury Township.

She was last seen Aug. 23.

Penn’s family and members of the church they attend have held prayer vigils and distributed posters to aid in the search. Penn was last seen wearing green pants and a green and purple flowered shirt.

The personal care home’s parent company, WoodBine Senior Living LLC, a property management and consulting company, offered a $10,000 reward, to locate Penn.

Woodland Terrace provided a statement to The Press Sept. 19:

“The entire Woodland Terrace community is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Audrey Penn and the circumstances under which Audrey was found. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with Audrey’s family.

“Our community was committed to bringing Audrey home safely and joined individuals throughout the region, from as far away as Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, in raising awareness of the search.

“We are grateful to the Salisbury Police Department, especially Sgt. Donald Sabo and Det. Kevin Kress, the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as all first responders and volunteers who searched for Audrey.

“Woodland Terrace has been working with, and will continue to provide, law enforcement with all requested information. All questions concerning the investigation should be directed to the Pennsylvania State Police. We cannot provide further comment at this time.

“Locating Audrey Penn had been our top priority since Aug. 23. We continue to test our systems and review resident safety and security measures to ensure that all technology and processes continue to work effectively; the health, safety, and well-being of every resident always is our number one priority.

“We will remind our residents and their families that mental health and spiritual counselors are available to all residents, families, and the local community, at this difficult time.”