- New details are emerging about the investigation into a Phoenix, Arizona, nursing facility where a woman – who has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade – gave birth to a baby late last month.
- According to CBS affiliate Arizona’s Family, investigators are looking to DNA test staff at the facility, but they legally can’t force them to take swabs.
- Investigators are also trying to figure out whether any staff members knew that the woman was pregnant and didn’t report it, sources told ABC 15.
- Hacienda did not respond to INSIDER’s request for comment. The Phoenix Police said they could not confirm the reports.
The investigation into a Phoenix, Arizona, nursing facility where a patient gave birth late last month, despite having been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, appears to be ramping up.
According to local reports, investigators are hoping to get DNA samples from staff, and are looking into the possibility that the victim, described by CBS affiliate Arizona’s Family as a 29-year-old Native American woman, was assaulted repeatedly.
But there may be some complications in obtaining the DNA samples from workers.
A source told CBS 5 reporter Briana Whitney that Phoenix Police can’t force any of the workers to give a DNA sample “right now,” but they may be able to get warrants to make any workers who refuse to give a sample submit one.
Sources also told ABC 15 in another report that investigators are looking into whether the patient suffered multiple sexual assaults, “including assaults on different parts of the body.” It’s unclear what evidence they have for this line of inquiry.
The sources added to the news outlet that investigators are evaluating other patients at the facility for signs of abuse.
Arizona’s Family was the first to break the story of the surprise birth last week. In the report, a source told the outlet that staffers didn’t know that the woman was pregnant until she went into labour.
Now sources are telling ABC 15 that investigators are looking into whether that’s true. The sources told the local TV station that the woman had a “bump” and they are trying to determine whether anyone at the facility knew about the pregnancy and either didn’t report it or actively covered it up.
Hacienda Healthcare’s longtime CEO Bill Timmons resigned on Monday following news of the birth.
The organisation released this statement in response to the incident:
“As an organisation, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter. We are already conducting a comprehensive internal review of our processes, protocols, and people to ensure that every single Hacienda resident is as safe and well cared for as possible. Anything less than that is unacceptable to our team, our company’s leaders and the communities we serve.”
Hacienda didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment on Tuesday. INSIDER also reached out to the Phoenix Police Department, and a spokesman said they could not confirm any of the reports about the investigation.
- Read more about Hacienda Healthcare:
- An Arizona nursing home CEO resigned after a woman in a vegetative state for 14 years gave birth
- At the Arizona nursing home where a woman gave birth in a vegetative state, an employee was fired in 2013 for making ‘inappropriate, sexual’ comments to patients
- The Arizona nursing facility where a woman gave birth in a vegetative state after presumably being raped had previously been cited for another complaint of inappropriate behaviour
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