Phoenix police seek workers' DNA after woman in coma gives birth

Florence Lopez
January 10, 2019

According to Global News, the staff at the facility were unaware that the woman, who had been housed there for about 10 years, was pregnant.

"We're not going to point out who we've obtained DNA from or who we intend to get DNA from", he said.

CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV was first to report on the birth.

Sources tell ABC15 that investigators are hoping to DNA test the staff at Hacienda Healthcare and are evaluating other patients at the establishment.

Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons has resigned after news of the birth emerged.

About Hacienda HealthCare, Cesena said: "Trust has been broken". Hacienda HealthCare, which has 40 programs that serve more than 2,500 people a year in Arizona, according to its website, did not immediately respond to calls and messages seeking comment.

"When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers", he said Tuesday.

In a statement Tuesday night, tribal officials say the 29-year-old woman has been in vegetative state and coma for more than a decade.

She said no one reported that incident exclusively out of fear, and she believes there's been other abuse throughout the years.

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Hacienda confirmed the warrant for DNA samples to the news station and added it will do "everything" it can to "bring this police investigation to a quick conclusion".

Gary Orman, the executive vice president of the company's board, said it would "accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation".

It is "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".

Hacienda also announced that all male employees would have to have a female employee accompany them when visiting a female patient's room.

Last week the state's department of economic security sent investigators to the facility for health and safety checks.

A spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the reports were "deeply troubling" and that the state was re-evaluating its contract and regulatory authority over Hacienda Healthcare to tighten up patient safety measures.

"I can't think of a legitimate reason not to call it what it is", he said.

Since the news of the incident broke, parents of patients at the Phoenix-based health care facility have come forward, expressing their concerns.

The staffer, along with the director of the facility, said those incidents occurred because they needed to access the trash cans or supplies stored in the shower room.

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