A woman who has been in a coma for more than a decade gave birth recently while in an Arizona care facility and now authorities are seeking DNA from the male workers there.
The woman, who gave birth to a boy on December 29, is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and has long been in a vegetative state, the tribe's chairman said Tuesday. CNN is not reporting the woman's name because she is the victim of sexual abuse.
"When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers," chairman Terry Rambler said.
Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix said police detectives served a search warrant Tuesday seeking DNA from men who work there.
Police said they didn't have any updates Tuesday but Sgt. Tommy Thompson said Friday there was an ongoing investigation.
CNN affiliate KPHO/KTVK has reported the woman has been in a vegetative state for 14 years, quoting a source familiar with the situation. The woman has been a patient at this facility for at least a decade following a near-drowning incident, the Phoenix-based station quoted its source as saying.
"The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda HealthCare," the family's attorney, John Micheaels said. "The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for."
Hacienda officials have called the situation "a deeply disturbing incident" and said they are cooperating with law enforcement and state agencies.
The company's chief executive officer, Bill Timmons, resigned Monday.
Hacienda "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization," said Gary Orman, executive vice president of Hacienda HealthCare's board of directors.
Last week the state's department of economic security sent investigators to the facility for health and safety checks. Spokesman Brett Bezio said the work was finished but didn't give any details about the results of the visits with patients.
The department of health ordered Hacienda to implement "heightened safety measures," spokeswoman Melissa Blasius-Nuanez said.
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