Authorities have released more information about the victim of an apparent rape at an Arizona nursing facility, which led to a pregnancy and live birth in late December.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a woman who had been in a vegetative state for more than a decade gave birth at Hacienda HealthCare on December 29. According to sources who spoke to AZCentral.com, staff at the nursing facility had no idea the woman was pregnant until she went into labor.
According to ABC News, San Carlos Apache officials released a statement confirming that the victim is a member of the tribe based in southeastern Arizona. She is reportedly 29, and the new report states that she gave birth to a boy, contradicting earlier reports that the newborn is a girl.
“On behalf of the tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members,” tribal chairman Terry Rambler said in the statement, which redacted the woman’s name.
“When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers. Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her. It is my hope that justice will be served.”
The infant is reportedly being cared for by the woman’s family, who have asked for privacy via a statement from their lawyer, who said that family is outraged by the “neglect of their daughter.”
The details of the ongoing investigation at Hacienda HealthCare remain unclear. There have been no reports of any disciplinary action taken against any employees there, though the nursing facility has reportedly implemented a new policy requiring male staffers to be accompanied by female employees when attending to female patients. The Arizona Department of Health Services has reportedly sent inspectors to monitor the safety and well-being of patients there.
But it is unclear how authorities are working to identify any suspects in the apparent rape that led to the birth.
ABC News reports that a spokesperson for Hacienda HealthCare said the facility would cooperate with DNA testing of staffers.
“We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation,” Hacienda HealthCare said in a statement obtained by the news station.
Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons submitted his resignation earlier this week.
CrimeOnline will continue to provide updates as the story develops.