TULSA, Okla. (KTUL)
Prison officials say a woman who was convicted in 2013 of pushing her husband out of a high-rise was found dead in prison Monday.
Amber Hilberling, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for pushing her husband out of a 25th-floor window June 7, 2011, was pronounced dead just after 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to the Department of Corrections. Hilberling said at the time that she and her husband, Joshua Hilberling, were fighting and she feared for her safety before she pushed him.
According to the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, Amber Hilberling’s body was examined Tuesday and her death has been ruled a suicide. The ME has determined Hilberling died as a result of asphyxial hanging. The complete autopsy report won’t be released for some time.
Hilberling’s parents spoke exclusively with Tulsa’s Channel 8 Monday night about their daughter’s death, and we chose to honor their request to hold the information until they had a chance to notify Hilberling’s brother.
Bryan Whitlock, Hilberling’s stepfather, said someone left a voicemail at his work around 5 p.m. Monday. The voicemail said someone needed to call the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center about Hilberling. Her mother called the prison and was told Hilberling was dead, according to Whitlock.
Medical staff told them the death was being treated as a suicide, but they wouldn’t say how it happened, Whitlock said. He said the prison gave them no other information on how to proceed.
Whitlock said there is no way Hilberling’s death was a suicide. He said they talked to her Sunday night about an interview request Tulsa’s Channel 8 made to Hilberling, who they said was excited to tell her story. Hilberling was also getting college credit while in prison and spoke to her son daily, Whitlock said.
The Inspector General’s Office is conducting an investigation into Hilberling’s death.
The family of Joshua Hilberling released a statement Tuesday, calling Amber’s death tragic.
“Hearing about Amber’s tragic death brought many emotions to our memories. Losing a child, regardless of their age, is something that cannot be expressed in words. Grieving is an individual experience. It can surface as anger, fear, sadness, and pain. Amber’s senseless death has impacted many lives.
Our sincere condolences go out to the Fields family, and everyone else who loved Amber. Our prayers go out to all who have been hurt, especially the innocent child.”