Elderly man, woman likely died weeks before being found in Laquey home

Published: Aug. 5, 2016 at 5:58 PM CDT
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A startling discovery leads to a difficult task for law enforcement after two elderly people are found dead in their Pulaski County home.

Investigators believe 75 year old Martha Jeffries and 73 year old Alva Green, who went by Alvey, had been deceased for a couple of weeks. The sheriff says their bodies were badly decomposed, and the mobile home was like an oven, with the air conditioner turned off.

"Any time you find two bodies that are deceased at the same location, it does of course string up red flags," says Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long.

Martha's son was the one to find their bodies Thursday. He says from what he saw, it appears Alvey may have died first and Martha later on. He says his mom did have a bad heart. "Once we get the lab results back, that will give us, basically a definitive answer," says Sheriff Long.

The sheriff says initial autopsy results don't point to any foul play.

Martha's son hadn't spoken with her in a couple weeks, and it's been about that long since the long time friends and roommates were seen in the Price Cutter Plus restaurant in Waynesville. "It's been at least two weeks ago we seen them. Because we'd been talking, wonder if she's back in the hospital, wonder if she's been sick," says waitress Anita Miller.

She says Martha and Alvey came in early every day for breakfast, sitting in the same booth. "They'd never just come in, sit down and ordered; they had to do their scratch-off tickets. And we always knew they were ready to order when Martha took her pills out, laid them on the napkin on the table. That was our cue, ok, we're ready to order now," says Miller.

Miller says Martha always ordered whole wheat toast, but recently switched to a biscuit and gravy. She talked about her hobby of collecting aluminum cans to recycle, and Alvey always teasingly asked for gooseberry jelly. As their loved ones grieve and wait for answers, Martha and Alvey's absence is also felt in the restaurant. "We're going to miss them," Miller says.

Martha's son says the long time friends would do anything to help their family and friends.