Phyllis Campbell told nursing home employees she was leaving and walked out of the building. The problem was that they failed to look in on her later.
The Associated Press reports the 76-year-old Ohio woman was gone for 8 hours before an employee discovered the resident in the courtyard. Campbell had frozen to death.
About 30 feet from the doors of the Hilty Memorial Home located near Toledo, Campbell had died from hypothermia.
The coroner said she most likely died within an hour or two after wandering around outside in temperatures near zero.
Staffers said that when Campbell walked out of the nursing home, she told them, “I’m going home,” WTVG reports. She was also wearing a device that was supposed to alert staff that she was walking around, but it failed to work properly.
The woman, who suffered from dementia, had already escaped the home twice the week before her death. She’d also wandered out of her room multiple times the day she died.
The Ohio Department of Health investigation revealed two nursing home aides admitted they marked their scheduled checks as completed the night of the death, but never made them.
In a press release, Chief executive of Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio, Laura Voth, wrote:
Let me restate that we are deeply saddened by this loss. We are grieving for the family and extend our heart-felt sympathy to them.
Voth also noted the nursing home has made changes to safety procedures following Campbell’s death.
According to the state’s report, four Hilty Memorial Home workers have been placed on unpaid leave. A statement from the owner, though, said that they don’t work for the company anymore, WTVG reports.