Police collect DNA from male employees after woman in vegetative state gives birth

Police have collected DNA from male employees at an Arizona long-term care facility where a woman gave birth despite being in a vegetative state for more than a decade.

Hacienda HealthCare, the company that manages the nursing home, said police in Phoenix served a search warrant on Tuesday to obtain the DNA, according to The New York Times. A Hacienda board member has said the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation," and a spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare told the Times the company welcomed action by the police and had considered conducting voluntary genetic testing itself.

The investigative development comes after police announced Friday they would open a case into the allegations and just one day after the company's chief executive resigned.

Investigators launched their case after learning a 29-year-old woman gave birth to a son on Dec. 29, despite having been in a vegetative state for 14 years following a near-drowning accident.

In a statement obtained Tuesday by 12 News in Phoenix, the San Carlos Apache Tribe confirmed that the woman is "an enrolled member of the Tribe" and has been in "a persistent vegetative state and coma" for years and gave birth "while still in a coma." Tribe chairman Terry Rambler spoke on behalf of the tribe in saying he was "deeply shocked and horrified."

"When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers," Rambler said in the statement. "Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her. It is my hope that justice will be served."

A lawyer for the woman's family said in a statement obtained by The New York Times that the baby boy "has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for."

The Hacienda facility, according to its website, provides specialized care for infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile," chronically ill or have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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