SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Police say it's a rare case that's posing a lot of questions.
On Monday, an elderly woman, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was found dead outside the residential care center she resided at.
Police say Mary Bebee may have fallen while trying to climb out of her window at Springfield Skilled Care Center, 2401 West Grand Ave. A police report shows it's possible up to three hours lapsed between the time of the fall and the time she was discovered.
"There are unattended deaths that occur at nursing homes all the time. The police department isn't usually called out," said Cpl. Matt Brown of the Springfield Police Department. "But, anybody that's deceased- just lying out, is going to warrant police investigation," he added.
The Greene County Medical Examiner says Bebee died of a broken neck.
"On the surface of this it doesn't look like there is anything suspicious to her death," explained Col. Brown.
When contacted by KY3 for comment, administrator Brian Mattox said he wished to "respectively decline" the opportunity to speak.
Investigators are now honing in on what happened to Mary and why. However, this is not the first time Springfield Skilled Care has been under the microscope.
A KY3 News investigation found a history of health and safety deficiencies at the facility, including numerous citations during 2010 alone.
An online Medicare database says the worst two citations last year were for "failing to make sure the place is free of dangers that cause accidents," and failing to "give each resident care and services to get or keep the highest quality of life possible."
Medicare gives the facility the lowest score possible. Overall, Springfield Skilled Care earned just one star out of five, which inspectors consider "much below average." It is the worst rating of any nursing facility in the city of Springfield.
Last month, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services performed its latest inspection of the facility. It cited the center for not keeping the place free of hazards that could cause falls, for providing inadequate supervision of residents, and for improperly storing/refrigerating medication. The facility had until May 4th to make the corrections.
As for involving Mary Bebee, police say the follow-up is far from over.
"We are very thorough here so we want to make sure there is absolutely nothing that has been missed," said Brown.