MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis woman's death has been ruled a homicide three decades after her husband shot her and was charged with assault.
This strange and unusual story has brought back some sad memories for those who knew the family.
"I can say she was a lovely lady," neighbor Nancy Davis said.
Family, friends and neighbors knew Mary Burgess as "Mae Lee."
"I used to see her all the time," Davis said.
A picture from her recent obituary shows her warm smile, but the violence that took her life was anything but recent. In fact, doctors said it took 30 years for the gunshot to finally kill her.
"She was a great lady. She really was," Davis said.
Burgess' husband shot her after an argument at their south Memphis home in 1986. She never fully recovered and spent the rest of her life paralyzed.
Doctors were never able to remove the bullet. An autopsy found it was the bullet that eventually killed her.
There have been 34 homicides so far this year. Burgess' death made the 21st homicide of this year.
It was all because she died from the gunshot wound in 1986.
Her attacker would have likely faced an upgraded charge of murder. However, he died in 2003.
The Shelby County DA's office said it is rare this happens.
Meanwhile, neighbors said Burgess was a giver and was very inspiring to others.
"For a long time, I didn't know anything about baking or cookies and cakes. She used to tell me all the time that she was thankful that I helped her daughter with her cookies and cakes," Davis said.
A life was lost, but her memories will live forever.
"She was truly missed around here," Davis said.