Police: Johnstown woman charged after hiding dead roommate

Leader-Herald staff

A Johnstown woman who did not report the death of a roommate who died from an overdose in February was arrested on a warrant Wednesday, city police said.

Stephanie E. Hillburn, 43, of 100 Byard St., was charged with a felony count of concealment of a human corpse after not reporting that her roommate had died in a shared apartment, police said.

Police responded to 100 Byard St. on Feb. 14 after they received an anonymous call requesting they check on the welfare of Patricia Barter, 62, a resident of the address.

When officers spoke to two of Barter’s roommates — Hillburn, and Deborah Eglin — the two directed officers to Barter’s bedroom, where the officers discovered her corpse on the bed, city police said. Barter appeared to have been dead for some time, police said. Both the detective division and the Fulton County Coroner’s Office were notified.

Police said investigators determined Barter had likely died from a suspected overdose the week of Feb. 6. Hillburn and Eglin moved Barter’s corpse to her bedroom to hide it from guests, police said. Over the next two weeks, Hillburn and Eglin hosted several parties and gatherings while Barter’s corpse remained in the bedroom, police said. Hillburn and Eglin lived in the apartment until police were called, police said. The two did not contact police because they were concerned officers would investigate the overdose and other illegal activity at the location, police said.

Eglin is in state prison on an unrelated charge, a felony count of criminal possession of stolen property, police said.

Hillburn tried to avoid police until she was located by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office on an active warrant of arrest, police said.

Hillburn will be processed on the warrant and arraigned, once arrangements are made with the state Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision, according to police.

By Paul Wager