Police have obtained a search warrant that will permit them to test male staffers’ DNA at the Arizona nursing facility where a woman who has been in a vegetative state for nearly a decade gave birth last month.
The Washington Post reports that Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix, Arizona confirmed they were served a search warrant in a statement on Tuesday, and that they “welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation.” Police are attempting to uncover how the unnamed woman, who was in a persistent vegetative state after a near-drowning incident many years ago, became impregnated. It appears that they are treating the incident as a sexual assault, a felony crime.
The facility’s CEO, Bill Timmons, resigned earlier in this week. A vice president for the board, which unanimously approved Timmons’s resignation, released a statement vowing to “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.”
It is unclear whether police currently have any suspects in mind or have obtained any samples; it is also unclear how no one at the facility even noticed the woman was pregnant before she gave birth shortly after Christmas. At the time, a source familiar with the situation told a local CBS affiliate, “[S]he was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her,” before delivering a healthy baby boy.
The woman is also reportedly a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, whose tribe Chairman provided a statement to 12 News saying he was “deeply shocked and horrified” by her treatment at the facility.