Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Police Seek DNA Where Comatose Woman Gave Birth

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Kenny Thornton | 10 January, 2019, 18:19

The woman is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and has always been in a vegetative state, the tribe's chairman said Tuesday.

"When asked if the mother had a full-term pregnancy, Thompson said "[she] was quite a ways along".

The woman went into labor a few days before New Year's, perplexing her caretakers.

"We had consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for our company to compel our employees to undergo DNA testing conducted through Hacienda or for Hacienda to conduct voluntary genetic testing of staffers", the statement said. "It is my hope that justice will be served", the tribe chairman told CBS.

This story has been updated to clarify the woman's medical condition.

An attorney representing the woman's family told KPNX in a statement Tuesday that the family was not emotionally prepared to make a statement but that they "would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for".

Police have requested DNA samples from men working at a home where a patient in a vegetative state was raped and later had a baby.

Hacienda HealthCare has said the woman was a patient at one of its facilities, and called it a "deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation".

Commenting for the first time on the investigation since the December 29 birth came to light, Phoenix police said they have not ruled out anyone and are still gathering DNA from all the facility's male employees.

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To find the possible assailant, police in the southwestern U.S. state are comparing DNA samples from the baby with male employees at the Hacienda Del Sol care centre, where the 29-year-old woman was a patient. San Carlos Apache Police Chief Alejandro Benally said Phoenix police "will do all they can to find the perpetrator" and the department will assist "in any way possible".

The private care facility serves babies, children and young adults who are "medically fragile".

The state's online complaint database for care facilities shows multiple complaints about Hacienda de Los Angeles going back to 2013.

News of the birth prompted public outrage, including from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who called the situation "deeply troubling".

The incidents were not relayed to an administrator and the employee was later fired. The facility responded to the Post, "As a company, we welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation". "We also don't have required training for providers", McFadden said.

The case is "disturbing, to put it mildly", said Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"I never expected something that devastating to happen but, however, I just wasn't surprised", King said.

"I can't believe someone receiving that level of constant care wasn't recognized as being pregnant prior to the time she delivered", Meyers said.

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