An elderly Cherry Hill man died yesterday of injuries he received during a Dec. 11 beating by his hired caretaker, authorities said.

Sidney Wenof, 82, was allegedly attacked by Yolanda Steele, 33, of Camden, a home health aide whom Wenof had hired several months earlier.

Steele struck the retired businessman repeatedly with his cane while Wenof's wife looked on in horror, said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's office.

One of the Wenofs pressed an emergency beeper during the attack, summoning an ambulance to their apartment, Laughlin said. Police arrived at the Frontage Street apartment soon after.

Wenof lapsed into a coma after arriving at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he remained until his death. He never regained consciousness.

An autopsy yesterday determined Wenof died of blunt force trauma followed by pneumonia. Steele, who was initially charged with aggravated assault, was charged with murder this morning.

According to investigators, Wenof had noticed money missing from his bank and money market accounts and was taking steps to identify who was responsible. Suspicion had fallen on Steele.

Steele, who is unlicensed, is not affiliated with any home health care organization, Laughlin said. Wenof hired her on the recommendation of a friend, he said.