Native woman in coma gives birth at health facility, DNA sought from male staff

Screen capture of the police presence at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix. ABC 15 YouTube screen capture.

San Carlos Apache Tribe confirms woman cared for at Hacienda Healthcare is an enrolled member of the tribe.

A 29-year-old Native woman in a vegetative state who has given birth last month at the Phoenix-based medical facility Hacienda Healthcare has been confirmed by the San Carlos Apache Tribe to be an enrolled member.

The tribe has issued a statement shortly after the Native woman — who had been in a vegetative state for over ten years after a drowning accident — gave birth to a child as a result of being sexually assaulted at the facility.

San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Terry Rambler said via Twitter: "On behalf of the Tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members. 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."

Alejandro Benally, Chief of the San Carlos Apache Police Department also had a statement included in the letter, "At this point, this matter falls under the jurisdiction of the Phoenix Police Department. I know Chief Jeri Williams and the Phoenix PD Officers will do all they can to find the perpetrator. SCAPD will assist the Phoenix Police Department in any way possible."

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.

According to the Phoenix CBS Affiliate KPHO, an unidentified source said, “From what I’ve been told, she was moaning … and they didn’t know what was wrong with her. … None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much, giving birth."

As reported by the Washington Post, Police are now seeking to obtain DNA samples from male staff members at the private facility, and that Hacienda Healthcare officials are cooperating. The facility responded to the Post, “As a company, we welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation.” In the wake of the investigation, the facility's CEO Bill Timmons has resigned.

Hacienda Healthcare serves approximately 2,500 people a year with 40 programs, according to a statement from the facility officials.

Video from ABC 15 in Arizona

Gary Orman, a board member, said in the official statement, “[Hacienda Healthcare] 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.”

As of this time, no one has been arrested in connection to the assault.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

Comments
No. 1-1
kaycee71
kaycee71

What in blue blazes??? They are “seeking DNA samples?” Oh no no no; they best get the DNA samples NOW & once proven who is the rapist, remove him from society & keep him far away from others unable to defend themselves from him. I’m disgusted by this story on so many levels as many rehabs, nursing homes & assisted living centers will literally hire anyone as they pay a pittance & have them do jobs that are physically & emotionaly taxing & (what’s the word I want?) “intimate” & the turnover rate is absurdly high. It’s time that we demand that these huge conglomerate “health care centers” start paying better & weeding out the sickos. I’m awfully sad for both the woman & the baby. I hope the baby brought joy to his/her mother’s family, albeit it being quite the surprise, the child is a literal extension of his/her mother & deserves to be loved as much as she was before the tragic accident left her somewhat broken & profoundly vulnerable. Hacienda best pay for that child’s upbringing because they are complicit in it’s creation.