Authorities suspect the elderly and sick parents of the Dune and The Walking Dead actress may have died of hypothermia after their dead bodies – one wearing a coat – were found inside their Massachusetts home this week.
Robert Waite, 87, and Diane Waite, 75, were discovered unresponsive on Monday, after their 46-year-old daughter asked a relative for a social check for them because she was unable to reach them.
Police said they had received reports that Witt’s parents had “oven problems” and were using a heater to heat their rundown home, according to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
Investigators told Boston 25 they now believe hypothermia – a dangerous drop in body temperature caused by prolonged exposure to cold – may have played a role in the couple’s death.
One parent was said to have been spotted wearing a trench coat inside. No visible signs of shock were found on the bodies, and no traces of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide were detected during the subsequent inspection.
There were no signs of evil play. They are under investigation, police said after the bodies were found at the Sussex Lane home on Monday.
The parents of actress Alicia Witt, 46, were found dead in their home near Worcester, Massachusetts, on Monday. Authorities suspect Robert Witt, 87, and Diane Witt, 75, may have died of hypothermia.
A relative found the bodies in their home in Worcester (pictured). It was said that one of the parents was wearing a coat inside
A neighbor told Boston 25 that Robert Witt has cancer, while wife Diane was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
‘It was a weak thing,’ said the neighbor to the porter, ‘the strong wind would blow it away.’
The same neighbor said that Alicia was involved in her parents’ lives, and whenever she was in the area, she would send a car to pick them up. She said that when one of the actress’s films was shown on TV, Robert and Diane would come to the neighbor’s house to watch it because they “didn’t have color TV”.
The grieving actress issued a statement Tuesday.
I contacted my cousin who lives near my parents to check on them. Unfortunately, Witt said, the result was unimaginable.
“I ask for some privacy at this time to grieve and wrap my head around this turn of events, this surreal loss.”
The couple, pictured, described by a neighbor as having been sick for some time, were using a fireplace to heat their home after experiencing ‘furnace problems’
Witt in David Lynch’s 1984 movie Dune, after the director discovered him at the age of eight
Reportedly, the firefighters who responded to the scene checked the air quality inside the house and did not detect any harmful gases.
“There were no signs of carbon monoxide,” said Adam Roach, deputy chief of the Wooster Fire Department.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the exact cause of death.
An autopsy will be performed.
“I can confirm that police were sent home and discovered a male and a female death,” Worcester Police Lt. Sean Murtha said.
Witt with her father, Robert Waite, 87, pictured left, and mother, Diane Waite, 75, pictured right
Pictured: Witt in the horror TV series The Walking Dead
The couple have lived in Worcester, about 50 miles east of Boston, for decades, according to reports.
Their daughter began her career at the age of eight after she was discovered by David Lynch, who chose her in his version of the sci-fi classic Dune in 1984 and in an episode of Twin Peaks.
Waite has gone on to appear in a number of successful television series, including The Sopranos, Two and a Half Men, The Walking Dead, and Orange Is the New Black.
Witt is also a pianist and made her stage debut in Los Angeles in 2001.