A Long Beach woman accused of strangling her 83-year-old uncle several days before he died could now face more serious charges after authorities recently ruled the man’s death a homicide, according to police.

Police say 52-year-old Jennifer Dail strangled her uncle, 83-year-old James Brooks, on June 8.

Dail called police, who responded to the 2600 block of Fanwood Avenue just after noon and found Dail leaning over Brooks’ body, police said. Her hands were around his neck, they added. 

Officers took the 52-year-old into custody without incident that day on suspicion of attempted murder, authorities, said. Meanwhile, Long Beach Fire Department personnel rendered aid to Brooks, who didn’t appear to have signs of any serious injuries, and even declined being transported to the hospital, according to the LBPD.

But soon after the incident, Brooks began complaining about pain in his throat, and his health started to rapidly decline, police said. On June 14, Brooks was found unresponsive in his home and was determined dead.

On June 30, the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner’s Office ruled Brooks’ death a homicide, police said. The cause was pre-existing trauma to the neck and body as a result of compression, according to the Medical-Examiner’s website.

Dail has remained jailed in lieu of $1 million bail ever since her arrest on June 8, inmate records show. She has since pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted murder and one count of elder abuse, however, police said detectives will meet with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to amend her charges. While police did not specify what charges she may face, a spokesperson confirmed a murder charge could be on the table.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct who called the police.

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