- A 29-year-old woman in Phoenix who has been in a vegetative state for more than 14 years suddenly gave birth in December 2018.
- Police on Tuesday served a search warrant to obtain DNA samples from all male employees at the woman’s care facility.
- They are investigating a potential sexual assault. All indicators so far point to the birth being the result of one.
- The woman’s family said that they are outraged but that the baby boy would be “well cared for.”
Police served a search warrant to obtain DNA samples from all male employees at a care facility in Phoenix after a female patient who has been in a vegetative state for more than 14 years suddenly gave birth last month, the Associated Press reported.
The warrant is part of a sexual-assault inquiry. The 29-year-old Native American woman gave birth to a boy at Hacienda HealthCare on December 29, 2018.
Hacienda HealthCare told the AP in a statement, “We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation.”
The woman, who has not been named, was admitted to the facility after a near drowning. She is a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe, whose reservation is 134 miles east of Phoenix, the AP said.
All indicators so far point to the birth being the result of rape or sexual assault.
A person who said they are a former caregiver at Hacienda HealthCare said on Monday that the staff at the facility makes up almost all the human contact the patient has, as her family visits only once every few months.
It’s not clear whether staff members at the facility knew the patient was pregnant. Previous reports said they did not know the patient was pregnant until she went into labour.
The woman’s family is outraged at the “neglect of their daughter,” their lawyer, John Micheaels, said in a Tuesday statement to the AP.
Micheaels added, “The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for.”
Terry Rambler, the chairman of the San Carlos Apache tribe, also said he was “deeply shocked and horrified” by the story.
“When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers,” Rambler said. “Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her. It is my hope that justice will be served.”
Investigators are trying to determine whether the woman was assaulted multiple times, “including assaults on different parts of the body,” according to ABC 15. It’s unclear what evidence there is for this reported line of inquiry.
Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons resigned on Monday. His resignation was “was accepted unanimously by the Hacienda Board of Directors,” spokesperson David Leibowitz told local news site Arizona Family in a statement.
- Read more about Hacienda HealthCare:
- Investigators are reportedly looking into whether the woman who gave birth in a vegetative state was assaulted multiple times
- 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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