Two months after the unexpected deaths of Robert and Diane Witt, parents of actress Alicia Witt, their official cause of death has been revealed upon the release of their death certificates.
PEOPLE reports that death certificates obtained by The Telegram & Gazette show that the couple died “probable cardiac dysrhythmia” due to the cold. On December 20, the 46-year-old actress became concerned after being unable to reach her parents
“for several days.” She contacted a cousin who lived near her parents in Massachusetts to check on the couple. Robert (87) and Diane (75) were found deceased in their home.
Authorities ruled out foul play and trauma, and upon inspection ruled out a carbon monoxide leak. Though, according to The Telegram & Gazette, the couple was apparently having problems with their furnace and had been using a space heater. A neighbor reported at the time that Robert and Diane were thought to be ill for some time and turned down offers from neighbors to help with their home that was falling in “disrepair.”
A month after their death, Alicia Witt addressed questions surrounding her parents’ deaths in an honest, heartfelt post on Facebook.
“The circumstances around my parents’ sudden passings have become fodder for press, and there are some misconceptions rolling around – understandably so. This is very delicate for me to write because I’m wanting to honor their privacy, which they held so tightly,” Alicia wrote. “I never imagined I would have to talk about this publicly – much less, amidst overwhelming floods of grief.”
Witt shared that she hadn’t been allowed inside her parents’ home for more than a decade and they declined all of her offers to help and refused to allow workers in their home.
“I begged, cried, tried to reason with them, tried to convince them to let me help them move – but every time, they became furious with me, telling me I had no right to tell them how to live their lives and that they had it all under control. It was not for a lack of trying on my part, or the part of other people who loved them.”
The actress questioned what more she could have done and why her parents hadn’t told her about the state of their home.
“I struggle, as much as I helped, with what else could I have done – short of petitioning the court system for taking control of two otherwise very sharp, very independent, very capable adults. they were a united, intertwined, indivisible force, determined to do things their own way,” the Nashville actress wrote. “I had no idea that their heat had gone out. I will never understand how or why they made the choice not to tell me this, not to let me help them with this. My heart is broken.”
Alicia Witt is best known for her role in Dunes (1984), Twin Peaks (1990), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995) and most recently for her role as Autumn Chase in Nashville (2016).