The caregiver who allegedly left disabled adults unattended at a Valley health facility is now being investigated in a patients' death.
El Mirage police report that on June 25 a registered nurse arrived at Love Helping Hands near Dysart and Greenway roads for follow-up care on a patient.
When the nurse arrived, she found four patients there but no caregiver.
Patients reportedly told the nurse that the live-in employee, 47-year-old Kimberly Washington, left the home about 45 minutes earlier.
Washington also took the only working phone in the facility with her, according to court paperwork.
Police say the patients reported that the caregiver was often drunk and had passed out earlier that week. They stated that she often tried to give patients the wrong medication, wrong dosages or no medicine at all.
Additional court paperwork, obtained by ABC15, says, "[o]ne unconscious sedated victim was transported to the hospital for fear the defendant may have overdosed the victim."
Police contacted Washington on the cell phone and arrested her at a Phoenix hotel. Washington allegedly admitted to police that she often left the patients alone so she could go on a beer run.
When the owner/manager of the facility, 51-year-old Pamela Davis, was contacted by police, she was unaware her employee had left.
As police investigated, it was learned that Davis had no license from the Arizona Department of Health Services to operate the group home.
Davis also allegedly admitted to police that Washington didn't have a required DPS fingerprint clearance card, court documents said.
Police say due to Washington’s extensive criminal history, her clearance would have been rejected by DPS.
Davis was arrested on June 27 at her home in Surprise for operating a health facility without a license and on four counts of vulnerable adult abuse.
Washington has been charged with vulnerable adult abuse and is the subject of an investigation in the death of a patient who died in the group home under her care.