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An elderly spinster terrorized by nighttime burglars apparently was...

CHICAGO -- An elderly spinster terrorized by nighttime burglars apparently was scared to death, officials said Friday.

Sigrid Barginde, 87, who was found dead and bound June 26 at her home, died of a heart attack, a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said.

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The pathologist who performed the autopsy said Miss Barginde's heart attack might have been brought on by stress or emotional trauma. But he said it also could have been caused by a bad dream or physical exertion.

'We don't know what spurred it,' said Dr. Wayne Carver. 'It's possible that it came as a result of a shock, but there is no way to verify it one way or another.'

Miss Barginde, who was nearly deaf and blind, was found bound and face down in the bedroom of her home. She had repeatedly complained to police of nocturnal intruders who beat her and demanded money.

Carver concluded, however, she might have tied her own hands.

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