Chesterfield family disputes claim loved one died due to neglect

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Months after a woman died in a Chesterfield home, her death has been ruled a homicide.

The Chief Medical Examiner has determined 47-year-old Melissa Pierce died as a result of neglect, according to Chesterfield Police.

In May 2019, police and EMS were called to a home on Whetstone Road to help a woman in cardiac arrest.

When they arrived, Pierce was pronounced dead at her home.

Melissa Pierce

"Based on evidence at the scene, Pierce's body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner," a Chesterfield Police spokesperson said. "In September 2019, case detectives were notified that Pierce died as a result of neglect, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner had found her manner of death to be homicide."

Pierce’s family says she lived with both mental and physical disabilities but was happy and healthy. Pierce’s mother and main caretaker passed away in 2011. Her brothers and sisters have been caring for her in their Meadowbrook Apartment ever since.

Her sister, Love Blackwell, said the family is innocent.

“They trying to say, that she was neglected. Melissa was never neglected at all, she was a nice loving person,” said Blackwell. “Now they’re trying to say if she was killed, if she was killed, killed by who? Cause it wasn’t by anybody here.”

Melissa and Dance Pierce

Melissa’s brother, Dance Pierce, said he was there the day she died and he tried to give his sister CPR.

“She was starting choking, starting to have a heart attack or something,” Dance recalled. “I put hands on the chest, do 1 2 3, then I started doing CPR and I say I didn’t get a pulse. No pulse on her. she wasn’t breathing.”

Police have not charged anyone at this time. The investigation into this case is ongoing.

Anyone with any information should contact the Chesterfield Police at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.

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