Woman who buried tenants in yard dies in prison


State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton says 82-year-old Dorothea Puente died at around 10:15 a.m. Sunday of natural causes at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla.

Authorities say Puente drugged her elderly tenants and stole their money. She escaped to Los Angeles while investigators were unearthing bodies at her Sacramento home in 1988, but was caught a few days later. Authorities would eventually find seven bodies buried at the home.

Puente was convicted in 1993 of three murders -- the jury did not reach verdicts on six other murder counts. She was given two life sentences and a concurrent 15-year-to-life sentence.

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