Neighbors react to Makanda woman's death - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Neighbors react to Makanda woman's death


Neighbors say they are shocked after a Makanda woman was found by her family more than a year after her death.

Sunantha K. Simmons, 63, was found in her garage on Christmas Day by family members who had traveled from Japan to visit her.

Some neighbors say they wished they did more.

Shannon Butler lives two houses down from where Sunantha Simmons lived.

She says she wishes she had known her neighbor personally.

“Had I would have known she was living there by herself, my children love elder people, I would have a least visited her once a month,” said Butler.

Butler says the clues are obvious to her now that something wasn't right.

The overgrown lawn is just one of them.

Marsha Nelson says those clues are important.

As a director for Shawnee Alliance in Carterville, she says there are ways to keep this tragedy from happening again with a service they offer called, “Well Checks”

“If anyone gives us a call, if somebody goes by and the yard hasn't been mowed or the mail hasn't been picked up or they just feel there neighbor is a little eccentric and nobody comes and checks on them, we are happy to send our staff,” said Nelson.

For Butler, it's a lesson learned.

“We shouldn't be a keep-to-yourself community. We should get out and knock on doors and try to make sure everyone is OK,” said Butler.

According to the Jackson County coroner, the results of an autopsy show that Simmons died of natural causes.

For more information on well checks:

Shawnee Alliance
6355 Brandhorst Dr.
Carterville. IL 62918

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