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Police investigate woman’s death

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The mysterious death of a woman found inside her West Spain Street home has authorities investigating the possibility of foul play, although family members have stated that her death most likely was an accident.

According to police, 50-year-old Alein Rubeck was discovered by a sister after she had not been heard from for a few days. On March 19 just before 10 p.m., the sister entered Rubeck’s home in the 100 block of West Spain Street and found her alive but unresponsive on the bed.

In an initial briefing on the incident, Sonoma police said Rubeck appeared to have suffered physical trauma and possibly had been lying on the bed for some time. There was no evidence of forced entry and no sign of a struggle in Rubeck’s home.

Authorities said Rubeck may have suffered from bleeding on the brain due to head trauma. She was taken to Sonoma Valley Hospital and later to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where she was taken off life support on March 26.

Authorities originally said they were treating the death as suspicious. On Thursday, investigators from the county’s Violent Crimes Investigations Unit refused to comment on the case.

Rubeck was a native of the area whose mother, longtime Sonoma Valley resident Dixie Lee Dement, died of cancer on Feb. 9 at the age of 71. An obituary stated that Dement was survived by three daughters: Ardell Dement, Aldona Dement and Alein Rubeck.

Both surviving sisters have Facebook pages, and on March 26, Ardell Dement wrote, “Alein my big sister passed at 4:05 today, please pray for her.”

Aldona Dement went further, writing on her Facebook page on March 21 that Rubeck “slipped and smacked her head on her bathroom counter and is in critical condition. She had brain surgery last night and I am hoping for the best.”

Later, she wrote that, “My sister Alein passed away on Wednesday, March 26th. It was a family decision to let her go. We were able to arrange her daughter to come from Oregon and spend a few days with her momma, and Alein was awake for most of that time which was such a miracle. We are so sad to see her go, but thankful that she is in heaven.”

Despite those statements, authorities have not confirmed or denied that Rubeck died from a fall. Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Stashyn, who supervises the county Coroner’s Office, did confirm that an autopsy on Rubeck was conducted March 28 but said results are still pending.

“No manner and cause has been determined as of yet,” he said.

Autopsy results could be released within a few weeks depending on whether or not the case is still being treated as a criminal investigation, Stashyn said.