Comatose woman gave birth to boy, attorney says

Police seek staff DNA over vegetative woman's baby

Phoenix Police Department in Arizona said Tuesday that they hope they will be able to match a staff member's sample to DNA taken from the newborn in order to work out who attacked the striken woman.

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.

CBS affiliate KPHO-TV in Phoenix first reported that the woman who was in a vegetative state for more than 10 years after a near-drowning had given birth December 29.

"We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation", the facility said in a statement.

The woman's mother, Katrina Cesena, told reporters she is sleeping in her daughter's hospital room until the perpetrator is found.

The relatives, who say they are not ready to come forward, asked for it to be conveyed publicly that the child has been "born into a loving family and will be well cared for".

Commenting for the first time, police said they have not ruled anything out and are gathering DNA samples from the long-term care facility where she was being treated.

The company has said it welcomes DNA testing of its male staffers and is cooperating in the investigation.

Records obtained from Maricopa County Superior Court state the woman has been a resident of the facility run by Hacienda HealthCare for more than 27 years - almost double the length of time that appeared in previous reports.

Hacienda employees apparently did not know the victim was pregnant before she went into labour.

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The revelation that a woman in a vegetative state was raped inside a care facility has horrified advocates for people with disabilities and the community at large.

A spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey over the weekend called the reports "deeply troubling" and said the state was re-evaluating its contract and regulatory authority over Hacienda.

Sgt Tommy Thompson confirmed the baby was on the verge of death when he was born.

"She lacks sufficient understanding and mental capacity to make decisions or give consents for her medical, placement or financial estate", the court documents say.

INNES: That's right. And the tribe issued a statement saying that they are working with Phoenix police on this case, and the family has a lawyer.

Hacienda also cares for - it's got several programs to provide medical and therapeutic services for medically fragile infants, children and young adults.

The birth and what can only be called rape is now the subject of a police investigation and has resulted in the resignation of the facility's CEO, Bill Timmons.

In a statement, board member Gary Orman said the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation".

Anyone can contact the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or to remain anonymous, Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish. They include increased staff presence during any patient interaction, more monitoring of patient care areas and additional security measures involving visitors.

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