Robert and Diane Witt, the parents of actress, musician, and author Alicia Witt were found dead in their Massachusetts home Monday night. Witt, who lives in Nashville, became concerned after she hadn’t heard from them in several days and asked a relative to do a welfare check.
“I reached out to a cousin who lives close to my parents to check on them. Sadly, the outcome was unimaginable,” Witt wrote in a statement.
Their deaths are not considered suspicious, according to the police. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported that the couple had difficulties with their furnace and were using space heaters to stay warm, but there was no evidence of carbon monoxide in their home.
There were also no signs of trauma, according to the police. Autopsies for both have been scheduled.
According to the Telegram & Gazette, Robert Witt, 87, had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Because treatments left his immune system compromised, he was largely housebound throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
A neighbor described the couple as close and happy.
“Any time I spent around them, they were like one person,” the neighbor told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “One soul.”
According to police records, a relative asked officers to accompany him on a welfare check at around 9:15 on Monday evening. The night before, the temperature had dipped to 15 degrees.
The couple had been using space heaters to stay warm, which can be problematic, according to Worcester Deputy Fire Chief Adam Roche. Since space heaters rely on fuels such as propane, toxic gases can build up inside the home if it is not adequately ventilated.
Though there was no evidence of a gas buildup in the home, it’s possible that gas dissipated when first responders opened the home’s doors and windows, according to another official.
A neighbor described retired teachers Robert and Diane Witt as incredibly proud of their daughter, who had a lengthy list of television and movie credits to her name.
The 46-year-old actress and musician landed her first major role in the 1984 David Lynch film Dune.
Parts followed in TV series such as Twin Peaks, Cybill, The Sopranos, and Friday Night Lights.
Witt released the following statement, “I ask for some privacy at this time to grieve and to wrap my head around this turn of events, and this surreal loss.”