Warfield Verdict One of Suicide

October 9, 1913

Testimony at Inquest Attached No Suspicion of Criminality to Anyone

The inquest into the death of Miss Ella Warfield, who died at her home near Sykesville, on July 21, and concerning which there has been much newspaper discussion and neighborhood gossip, with cruel insinuations against relatives and respected citizens, came to the common sense end yesterday when the coroner’s jury brought in a verdict that the deceased came to her death as a result of a dose of cyanide of potassium, which the jury found had been self-administered.

The verdict was returned after the jury had patiently listened to all the testimony brought forward by the State’s Attorney. There was nothing in it all to indicate that a crime had been committed, beyond that of self-destruction.

The dead woman’s sister, Mrs. Mary J. Ward, against whom suspicion had been cast, was not even called as a witness. Her deposition, however, was read to the jury. There was not even the suggestion of criminality in any portion of the testimony. The facts brought out by the various witnesses were substantially as related in The Herald heretofore. Dr. Sprecher told how he called the coroner, and how he came to issue the much talked-of death certificate.

The sensational stories that have been printed concerning the part of Dr. Sprecher in the case, were completely exploded as the testimony in the case brought the facts. The only sensation of the day was the introduction of the following letters, written by Miss Warfield, just prior to her death, and which only went to prove the case one of suicide. All sorts of sensational stories have been published concerning these letters, but their contents led to but one conclusion; that the unfortunate woman died from the drug that was self-administered. The jury so found. There was no other sensible conclusion. The letter follows:

“Mary Joe:

“I will not stand condition any longer. Your failure to come into this makes this only another burden. Place must be sold and money invested for mother.

(signed)         “Ella”

Another letter read:

The failure of your sale in Texas and your inability to go into this affair makes me realize the undertaking of this place is too much with my own affairs in the shape they are. There will be enough to care for mother. I have done my duty, and I can stand conditions no longer. I have told you about Safe Deposit matter, and you can communicate with Mr. Graham as to the other affairs and locate Miss Tilghman as to the articles stored with her.

“I hope some day you may enjoy the things you crave, and that you will be able to straighten out your affairs with what mother leaves unused.”

There is no criticism of State’s Attorney Weant, nor of Deputy Sheriff Hitter, who acted with him. Both of these officials simply performed their duty. In view of the insinuations that have been hurled about through the sensational prints, there was nothing for them to do but clear up the mystery. This has now been done and it is hoped that the body of Miss Warfield may now rest in peace in the cemetery where it was originally buried.

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