A Conestoga man is charged with taking his elderly wife from a care home and attempting suicide with her earlier this week.
Philip M. Benight, 60, is charged with a second-degree felony count of causing or aiding suicide, defined as an intentional aiding of another’s suicide or suicide attempt.
Both Benight and the 72-year-old woman are alive.
They were found unconscious in a vehicle at Benight’s home early Monday morning. Both had taken a quantity of prescription pills. Both were hospitalized and survived.
Benight, of Oak Road, was arraigned Wednesday night by District Judge Edward A. Tobin who set bail at $300,000, which was posted.
Manor Township police Detective Tricia Mazur filed the charge which was approved by Assistant District Attorney Christine L. Wilson.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be filed.
Manheim Township police were initially notified early Monday by the woman’s care home. Care home staff told police the woman, a dementia patient, was signed out by Benight and had not returned at the scheduled time.
Manor Township police went to Benight’s home, in their jurisdiction. At the home, officers found a vehicle with the couple inside, unconscious. A prescription pill bottle and a note was visible inside the vehicle.
The officers tended to the couple by administering Narcan, an overdose antidote, and CPR.
Medics arrived and transported the couple to a hospital. The woman is there, as of Thursday.
An empty bottle of Oxycodone was inside the vehicle. Police also found, inside the home, at least four empty prescription bill bottles and a mortar and pestle with a white powdery substance.
A note, written by Benight about both he and his wife dying, also was found. Police seized those materials.
The woman made multiple statements previously about not wanting to live in her current condition. Efforts are ongoing to conduct a complete interview with her at the hospital.
Benight admitted to police to providing the woman the medications which caused overdose.
Benight is presumed innocent.
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