Correction 5/24: A previous version of this story and headline referred to the woman as in a “vegetative state.” The text has been updated to reflect that she has “some ability to move” and is “alert,” according to her family’s lawyer.
Police have issued a search warrant for the DNA of every male employee who worked at a Phoenix care facility, where a woman who’d been incapacitated for around a decade gave birth on Dec. 29.
Hacienda Healthcare, the private company that runs the facility, didn’t immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment, but it told the Washington Post in a statement, “As a company, we welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation.”
News of the birth broke last week, when the local news outlet Arizona’s Family reported that police were investigating the sexual abuse that must have led to the woman’s pregnancy.
“None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” an unnamed source told Arizona's Family. Later, the source added that the staff learned the woman was in labor because she was moaning.
The woman, a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, needed round-the-clock care after a near-drowning incident at least a decade ago, according to Arizona's Family. "When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers," tribe chairman Terry Rambler said in a statement Tuesday.
"The family obviously is outraged, traumatized, and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda HealthCare," the woman’s family's attorney, John Micheaels, added in a statement, adding, "The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for."
The CEO of Hacienda Healthcare, Bill Timmons, stepped down earlier this week after the sexual assault allegations emerged.
“I want to assure our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, the agencies we do business with, Governor Ducey and the residents of Arizona, we will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and the investigating agencies at all levels in every way possible,” Gary Orman, executive vice president of the Hacienda Board told a local news outlet.
Cover image: This Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, photo shows Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)