Homeless woman dies in restaurant lobby after choking on candy

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KMOV.com

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 23 at 1:51 PM

(KMOV) – The family of 56-year-old Barbara Tillman claims she choked on a piece of candy inside a Longhorn Steakhouse on Wednesday, and no one helped her. Tillman died in the lobby of the Metro-East restaurant.

Tillman was a homeless woman who would reportedly often come to the restaurant for a meal and to get warm.

Keyanniona Tillman believes something should have been done to help her mother, a woman who Keyanniona says refused help from her children.

Keyanniona says that her mother died from choking after seeking shelter at the steakhouse, and that her body may have been left there without anyone noticing.

The company that owns Longhorn sent News 4 a statement saying that the staff noticed Tillman was having a problem within 10 minutes of her walking in, and called for help.

The statement reads: “We are confident that our team did all they could do and took appropriate actions under the circumstances.”

One person at the restaurant said that Tillman was frequently welcomed for a free meal over the past several years and that workers are saddened by her death.

Fairview Heights police say there is no criminal investigation, but they are piecing together what happened Wednesday afternoon.

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