UPDATED WITH FULL STORY - A 79-year-old local woman was found dead on the sidewalk outside her home at the corner of West Main and Newton streets late Wednesday morning.
No foul play is suspected in the death of Sandra J. Lombardo, of 82 W. Main St.
(NOTE - Pictures of the investigation can be seen HERE.)
Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light said a friend had come to Lombardo's home to take her to lunch and found her on the first landing of some steps in the rear of the residence near a driveway.
"They said they had lunch with her once a week," said Light, who didn't know if that meant if they went out to eat.
"She was found at the rear of her house on the sidewalk at the first set of steps. ... It appears she may have fallen down those steps," he said.
Lombardo, who lived alone, has no known relatives. Light said he'd heard Lombardo was once a real estate agent who had moved to Norwalk from Cleveland.
Neighbors said Lombardo had been a widow for many years and once was taken to a Toledo mental hospital due to years of mental problems. One neighbor said she didn't see Lombardo much except once to go to the grocery store.
Lombardo suffered from some mental issues, Light said, but was "well enough to live alone."
"We've dealt with her in the past, but nothing recently," he said.
At the scene from the police department were Light, Capt. Mike Conney, Sgt. Todd Temple and Officer Kevin Schaffer. Also there were North Central EMS and the Huron County Dog Warden's Office.
The two dogs in the house were released to deputy dog wardens.
"The one was an older dog ... probably an English bull dog. One was a puppy. They were both well fed," Light said. "I was surprised to find just the two dogs in the house."
At one point, authorities had to remove 26 cats from Lombardo's house, the chief said. He mentioned there had been no similar problems after Adult Protective Services went to the woman's home.
"That was several years ago," Light added.
On Wednesday morning, police tape surrounded the old home, which has many overgrown bushes and weeds around it.
"The house was in disarray. The house had not been kept up at all," Light said.
Before firefighters and officers entered the house, they put on protective suits provided by the Norwalk Fire Department.
Light, who looked in the back door, said there was water damage to the kitchen ceiling, which had fallen down.
"You could look up and see the boards," the chief said. "It's a sad situation."
Lombardo's body was released to Walker Funeral Home so it could be released to the coroner for an autopsy.