Police seek DNA from workers at Arizona facility where woman in vegetative state gave birth

Police seek DNA from workers at Arizona facility where woman in vegetative state gave birth

Police have reportedly served a search warrant to test the DNA of all male employees at a private nursing facility in Arizona where a woman who was in a vegetative state for 14 years gave birth.

Police have been investigating the alleged sexual assault that caused the pregnancy since last month, with the CEO of Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix resigning Monday amid pressure.

“We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation,” the company said in a statement reported by The Associated Press.

ADVERTISEMENT

The company considered conducting its own DNA tests of employees in an attempt to determine who impregnated the woman, but decided not to do so after an attorney for the facility said it would violate federal law, according to the Arizona Republic.

Local CBS affiliate KPHO reported that the woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Dec. 29 even though she had been in a coma for more than a decade due to a near-death drowning incident.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe announced Tuesday that the woman is a member of the tribe.

“On behalf of the tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members,” tribal chairman Terry Rambler said in a statement. “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.”

An attorney for the family of the woman said the baby “has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for.”

Hacienda HealthCare board member Gary Orman said in a statement that the facility “will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation.”

“We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees,” Orman said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's (R) office has said he has been briefed on the situation, calling it "deeply troubling."