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Cardio respiratory failure cited as cause of woman's death


A death certificate provided Friday by a family member of a woman found in her Strasburg apartment Jan. 5 sheds additional light on her death.

The death certificate, signed by the attending physician, lists cardio respiratory arrest as the immediate cause of death of Phyllis Butler-Shears, 57, of 100 Massanutten Manor Circle.

The certificate also lists kidney failure/seizure disorder as a "significant condition" that contributed to Butler-Shears's death but did not result in it.

Strasburg Police Chief Tim Sutherly said Thursday his department is treating the case as an overdose from prescription drugs. Sutherly said his department is awaiting an autopsy report and lab results before making a final determination as to what caused Butler-Shears's death.


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