Police officials said a 58-year-old woman, identified later as Colleen, who worked as a caregiver at a nursing home, was arrested and charged with second-degree vulnerable adult abuse in connection with the death of an 82-year-old woman, identified as Lois, who was a resident at the facility. If found guilty of the charges against her, Colleen faces four years in state prison.
Lois was a resident at the assisted living facility and under Colleen’s care when the tragic incident that led to her death occurred. Last year, Lois passed away after she went outside the facility during dangerous winter conditions characterized by strong winds and chilling temperatures. Colleen was accused of negligence for not intervening to stop her. Reportedly, she only observed as Lois went outside twice to walk her dog amidst a blizzard, inadequately dressed for the winter weather conditions. It was during the second outing that Lois succumbed to the fatal conditions.
According to reports, she may have become disoriented in the snow. The same morning that Lois went outside to walk her dog, a snowplow driver found her covered in snow. She was then taken to the hospital, where she died shortly upon her arrival. A medical examination showed hypothermia was the cause of Lois’ death.
Following her arraignment, Colleen was released on $5,000 bail and has a probable cause hearing scheduled for tomorrow, where further details of the case will likely be discussed and the course of legal action will be determined. Her defense team said their client is innocent and will fight the charges, while also mentioning that this was the first incident in which she was involved as an employee at the facility and that during her 35-year career as a caregiver, no one has ever made a complaint against her.