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Phoenix police seek DNA from facility's male staff

Comatose woman who gave birth is a tribal member
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 16:38:11-05

PHOENIX — Phoenix police are pursuing DNA samples from every male employee at a private care facility where a patient in a vegetative state recently gave birth.

A spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare says investigators served a search warrant Tuesday to obtain DNA from all male staffers.

Officials say they are committed to cooperating with the police to "uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation."

A woman living at a Hacienda HealthCare facility in central Phoenix reportedly delivered a baby last month.

Local news website first reported that the woman had been in a vegetative state for more than a decade after a near-drowning and that no workers were aware she was pregnant.

Police have declined to comment on the investigation.

Meanwhile, the patient has been identified as a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

In a statement Tuesday night, tribal officials say the 29-year-old woman has been in vegetative state and coma for more than a decade. They also say she was still in a coma when she gave birth.

The woman's name was redacted from the tribal statement, and there was no information about the gender or status of the baby.

Tribal chairman Terry Rambler said he was "deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members."

San Carlos Apache Police Chief Alejandro Benally says Phoenix police "will do all they can to find the perpetrator."