DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) – The roommate of a 100-year-old woman found strangled in her bed at a nursing home had made “threatening” remarks to the centenarian, her son said Friday, and the slain woman’s family had sought to have the women split up.

Elizabeth Barrow was found dead in her bed last month, with a plastic bag tied around her head. This week, authorities ruled the death a homicide. They have not named any suspects.

Scott Barrow said his mother’s 97-year-old roommate had complained to nursing home officials about the number of visitors his mother received and had made “threatening” and “harassing” remarks to her.

“She said, ‘I’m going to have that bed next to the window,’ and my mother said, ‘Why do you think that?’ and she said, ‘Because I’m going to outlive you,'” Scott Barrow said.

Barrow said he asked officials at the Brandon Woods nursing home to separate the women, but they assured him the two were getting along.

Elizabeth Barrow had lived with the woman for about a year and tried to be “peacemaker,” her son said. She told him she did not want to leave her room because that’s where she and her husband had lived for several years before he died in 2007.

The home’s chief of operations, Scott Picone, said the elderly women were offered room changes twice this summer, and both declined. The two women were friendly toward one another and often told each other “goodnight” and “I love you,” he said.

The district attorney has declined to comment on the roommate, and Scott Barrow said investigators haven’t told him that she is a suspect. Authorities have said nursing home workers and residents are being questioned. Prosecutors on Friday declined to comment, saying they weren’t releasing any additional information.

Picone declined to discuss the roommate’s current whereabouts, citing privacy issues.

Scott Barrow also said the roommate also would imply that his mother had taken her things.

“She would say things like, ‘something’s missing’ or ‘someone’s been in my closet’ in an accusing or harassing way,” Barrow said.

He said that when he later asked his mother if she wanted him to arrange for her to get a new roommate, she turned him down.

“She’d say in her own meek way, ‘Oh, we’re getting along OK now.'”

The day his mother died, Scott Barrow saw the roommate being wheeled away from the room.

“She said to me, ‘You’re going to blame me for this … but you’re wrong,'” he recalled.

The state Department of Public Health, which oversees nursing homes in Massachusetts, is working with state police in the investigation, said Jennifer Manley, a spokeswoman for the agency. She would not comment further.


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