Police Seek DNA Where Comatose Woman Gave Birth

Brian Skoloff  AP  Shutterstock

Phoenix police said Wednesday they are reaching out to the community to help identify a suspect for sexual assault after a woman who has been in a vegetative state for years gave birth.

A spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare, David Leibowitz, said investigators served a search warrant Tuesday to obtain DNA samples from all male staffers - a day after company CEO Bill Timmons stepped down.

They issued the statement a day after the company's CEO Bill Timmons resigned amid growing outrage over the attack on the unidentified woman, who has been in a vegetative state since nearly drowning as a teenager 14 years ago.

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.

"The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for".

Phoenix police are pursuing DNA samples from every male employee at a private care facility where a patient in a vegetative state recently gave birth.

Phoenix police are now investigating the case and have issued a warrant to check the DNA of Hacienda employees.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe on Tuesday confirmed that the patient was a 29-year-old tribe member.

"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.

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

'When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers.

The Hacienda facility serves infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or have developmental disabilities, according to its website.

Sources have claimed staff only became aware the woman was pregnant when she started "moaning" from her hospital bed.

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

Executive Vice President Gary Orman said in the statement that the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved".

Phoenix police have said little about the investigation, and did not immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment. In the wake of the investigation, the facility's CEO Bill Timmons has resigned.

Gov. Doug Ducey's office has called the situation "deeply troubling".

The department of health ordered Hacienda to implement "heightened safety measures", spokeswoman Melissa Blasius-Nuanez said. "But I can't believe someone receiving that level of constant care wasn't recognized as being pregnant prior to the time she delivered".

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