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'It really upset a lot of us': Warner Robins community still processing deaths of mother, daughter neighbors

Warner Robins police hope a GBI autopsy will give answers about how the women died, but for now, it's unclear if heat was a factor in their death.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A Warner Robins neighborhood is still processing the deaths of two neighbors, a mother and a daughter.

For the most part, everyone who lives on Orchard Way knows one another. 

Neighbors say often, they sit, eat lunch, and go on walks together, but not too long ago, one neighbor told 13WMAZ their mail delivery person asked about one particular home because the mail was piling up.

Betty Marshall couldn't believe it.

"It really upset a lot of us. Most of the people on this end are elder peoples, and it is so hot these days, so we're thinking everything is OK, and they probably went inside to cool off or something like that," Marshall said.

Police got a call around 3 p.m. Thursday to do a welfare check. Warner Robins police found two women dead. They are a mother and daughter: 78-year-old Elsie Coates and 60-year-old Annette Coates.

"It was like both of them were each other's caregivers. They used to walk up and past my house, but they were people that liked to stay to themselves. They never did want to interact with a lot of peoples, but they never bothered anybody. They just do their own thing with their country music and they sit on their porch for happy hour, but they were really nice people, but you had to really know them to know how to act. If you got to get to know them, they were really lovely people, just quiet," Marshall said.

It appears their bodies were there for a while, but Police Chief John Wagner says they don't see any signs of foul play. He's asking that you check on your neighbors.

"Please keep an eye on your family members and your neighbors, that they aren't wandering off during such inclement weather, and especially at this time where we have never seen this heat, or we haven't seen this heat in a while here in Georgia, and it's been rather oppressive. Please stay inside your air conditioner and make sure you're hydrating," Wagner said.

According to Houston County Coroner James Williams, Houston County has done 1,400 welfare checks, since the start of 2022, and six of those happened in the past 10 days.

"Not saying all of those are related to heat or any of them related to heat, but this time of year, a lot of times the houses we go into, and a lot of times we find with the elderly people living in houses, some don't even have air condition in them, and some that do, the air condition is not working properly and it can be up to 85 degrees inside the house," Williams said.

"I guess I dropped the ball. I should have went and knocked on the door, but I didn't, so now, this is what happened," Marshall said.

Wagner and Williams say the last someone saw the two was before Mother's Day -- about five weeks ago.

Another neighbor says the women do have some family in the area, but Elise Coates' son just got in town for a visit ahead of Father's Day weekend.

Warner Robins police hope a GBI autopsy will give answers about how the women died, but for now, it's unclear if heat was a factor in their death.

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