A neighbor, Pam Avallone, told the newspaper her daughter had been home when police arrived and had watched as officers with a megaphone tried for two hours to get Gary Cotter to leave the house.
First responders ultimately busted through the wall below a window.
"They had a really hard time getting him out," Avallone told the newspaper.
Avallone said she had not seen Florence Cotter for a couple of years. Other neighbors told the Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Massachusetts, that they has seen her outside the home earlier this year.
"We thought we saw her earlier this summer on our way to the beach," Tony Difruscia told the Eagle-Tribune. "It was a hot day and we remember questioning why an older woman like that was outside weeding."
Another neighbor, Joe Bolis, told the Union Leader that he had been delivering the Cotters' mail and mowing their lawn for a while. He said he had also been bringing groceries to Gary Cotter through a window for about a year because Cotter had an infection in his legs.
"He's been sick for a while," Bolis, 80, said.
He said Florence Cotter, who was in her 80s, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
The death investigation is being conducted by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office in conjunction with the state police's Major Crime Unit and the Salem Police Department, a statement on the attorney general's website said.