Police investigate after US woman in coma gives birth at care facility

Woman in coma gives birth Police collect DNA samples of male employees at facility

Police investigating a case of possible sex abuse at an Arizona nursing facility where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth in December are asking for DNA samples from male employees, according to the company.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Native American tribe to which the woman belongs, said in a statement that she "has been in a persistent vegetative state and coma for over a decade" and gave birth "while still in a coma".

Police served a search warrant on Tuesday to get DNA from the male employees at the long-term care facility in Phoenix. "The woman and the baby were transported to a local hospital and at this time, both the mother and the baby are recovering".

"As a company, we welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation", Hacienda HealthCare said in a statement obtained by The Washington Post.

The investigation began on or about January 4th as reported by Phoenix Fox 10, which reported the woman had been sexually assaulted by someone who allegedly cared for her at the facility, and that the staff was not even aware the woman was pregnant until she began moaning and the woman began giving birth.

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 San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona confirmed on Tuesday she is a member.

A lawyer for the woman's family said they were outraged at the "neglect of their daughter".

It would be the police who would lead DNA testing to figure out who fathered the baby, Solomon said.

"On behalf of the tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members", tribal chairman Terry Rambler said.

And he added staff could face charges if it emerges they did know about the pregnancy and failed to act.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141.

'Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her.

Let's hope the authorities catch the perpetrator so that justice can be served.

The lawyer's statement comes a day after CEO of the care facility Bill Timmons resigned from his role. Gary Orman, executive vice president, said the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation".

Gov. Doug Ducey said he was "very troubled" by the allegations.

The department of health ordered Hacienda to implement "heightened safety measures", spokeswoman Melissa Blasius-Nuanez said. "Whether it's an employee or someone from the outside, the facility has an obligation to protect residents".

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 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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