Husband grieves woman's accidental death in Palmetto

acastillo@bradenton.comApril 24, 2014 

MANATEE -- The death of a woman whose body was found underneath a railroad overpass in Palmetto was "consistent with a fall" and foul play is not suspected, according to autopsy results released Wednesday.

The body of 62-year-old Carolyn West of Palmetto was discovered around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday by two people walking in the area of the 5800 block of U.S. 41 North, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Preliminary autopsy results indicated West suffered injuries consistent with a fall, according to a sheriff's office news release.

"She was as sweet as can be," said Carolyn's husband, Ted West, on Wednesday evening over the phone. "We would have been married 40 years next year."

West, a full-time photographer, said he's received many phone calls from family and friends after news spread of his wife's death.

Neighbors brought tons of food to their Palmetto home for comfort -- everything from ribs to frozen lasagnas and meatloaf.

"So generous," the 64-year-old said of the outpouring of support he has received. "A lot of people loved her."

West said his 30-year-old daughter, Megan West of Bradenton, has been by his side at home. He also has a daughter who lives in Hawaii and a son who lives in Arizona. They plan on flying home to be by their side soon.

Carolyn West worked from home as a medical transcriptionist and part-time at Ellenton Premium Outlets, her husband said. She was also a Manatee Marine Mom.

"It was an accident, that's what the detectives told me," said West, adding he wanted to thank the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and detectives involved in the case. A victim's advocate present when West called to notify his other two children was also helpful, he said.

"We were just very close and everybody knew that," West said of his relationship with his wife.

His voice broke, followed by a pause. "They knew us and how close we were," he said.

West said he has memories shared with his late wife to cling onto. He said the greatest thing is they had a lot of them.

"A lot of memories to reflect on," he said. "It makes you feel better... makes you stronger." No matter what, he noted.

Amaris Castillo, Law Enforcement/Island Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. You can follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.

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