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NH Widow Wants Robbery Suspect Held Accountable For Husband’s Death

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV New Hampshire Bureau Chief
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EPPING, NH (CBS) – The widow of a clerk who died from a heart attack following a theft at a New Hampshire convenience store wants the suspect held accountable.

Norman Blais was a clerk at a Cumberland Farms in Epping on Christmas Eve when a thief walked in and robbed the store of cigarettes.

Upset, Blais called his wife Denise, who arrived to comfort him.

“I said ‘it’s alright honey, I’m here to help you…we can go home,’” Denise recounted.

But Blais decided he wanted to stay and finish his shift.

That’s when he collapsed.

“He was like sliding down in a sitting position near the sink,” said Denise. “He couldn’t move his arm or anything.”

His cause of death was later confirmed to be a heart attack.

“He just had tears coming down,” said Denise.

Before suffering the heart attack, Blais called 911 and gave police a description of the suspect and the getaway car.

Police found the suspect fairly quickly thanks to that information.

The alleged robber, Jeffrey Seymore, 27, of Manchester, New Hampshire was arrested along with suspected getaway driver Kelsy Foster, 28, of East Kingston, New Hampshire.

Seymore was charged with theft and Foster was arrested for drunk driving.

But investigators say they can’t hold either suspect responsible for Norman Blais’ death, which his wife blames on the stress related to the situation.

Her husband did have a mild heart attack 10 years ago, but she believes he would be alive if not for the alleged crime.

“I want him to know what he did, that it was uncalled for, I don’t think a carton of cigarettes was that important,” said Denise.

Seymore’s grandmother says she doesn’t know if her grandson realized the clerk suffered a heart attack.

“It’s terrible, it’s really a shame and I feel very badly for that woman to lose her husband, because she’s with him a long time and now he’s gone,” said the grandmother, who declined to give her name.

Denise hopes that somehow the suspect can be held accountable for her husband’s death. But Epping Police say the case is closed.

“I hope somebody mentions it to him and I hope that will stay with him for the rest of his life,” said Denise.

Norman worked at the store for three years. Denise said it was to keep busy during retirement, and that he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cumberland Farms has released a statement to WBZ-TV about the situation.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of our employee. He was more than a member of our workforce, he was a member of the Cumberland Farms family, and our hearts and thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones,” the statement said.

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