Candy Lawson (credit: Shiawassee County Sheriff's Office)

Candy Lawson (credit: Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WWJ/AP) – A Kentucky coroner says officials are reviewing the 2009 malnutrition death of a disabled man after his sister was charged in Michigan with locking another sibling in a closet for years.

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Authorities in Corunna, Michigan — 65 miles northwest of Detroit — charged 44-year-old Candy Lawson last week with unlawful imprisonment, vulnerable adult abuse and embezzlement from a vulnerable adult after authorities received an anonymous tip.

Authorities say she locked her disabled adult sister in a closet for six or seven years with little food, water or clothing and only a bucket for urination.

Shiawassee County’s chief assistant prosecutor Daniel Nees said police conduction a welfare check found the disabled woman locked in a closet suffering from malnourishment and dehydration.

Police said the 42-year-old — who has “cognitive and physical impairments” — was hospitalized for about a week before being placed in protective custody.

Lawson pleaded not guilty.

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Franklin County, Kentucky, Coroner William Harrod says Lawson’s 33-year-old disabled brother, Christopher Justin Churchill, died in Frankfort in 2009 of protein calorie malnutrition.

Harrod said he will be reviewing his file and communicating with Kentucky State Police, who handled the original death investigation.

A state police spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Harrod said several things could contribute to protein calorie malnutrition. He said the death certificate currently lists the manner of death as natural, but that could change if any new evidence is found.

“At the time of Mr. Churchill’s death in 2009, we didn’t have substantial enough evidence to prove any type of neglect or anything,” he said. “What we’ve got to do is see if we can get any substantial evidence to support anything otherwise than what we have now.”

A court conference is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 26 in the Michigan case.

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