LANSING, Mich. (TCD) — A 58-year-old caregiver has been charged in connection with the death of an 82-year-old living facility resident who wandered into the freezing cold.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that her office charged Colleen O’Connor with second-degree vulnerable adult abuse on Monday, Nov. 21. The Lansing State Journal identified the victim as Lois Cary.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 23, 2022, O’Connor reportedly noticed that Cary tried to go outside two different times “without appropriate attire into a blizzard with single-digit temperatures, subzero windchill, and blowing and drifting snow.” The Lansing State Journal reports that the area was under blizzard conditions at the time.
According to the attorney general’s office, at approximately 7 a.m., a snowplow driver discovered Cary buried in the snow in the parking lot. A caregiver reportedly said that Cary had been covered by a heavy layer of drifted snow, suggesting that she had been there for “quite some time.”
The victim was transported to a local hospital via ambulance, where she died of hypothermia.
At the time of Cary’s death, O’Connor was working as her caregiver at Vista Springs Imperial Park at Timber Ridge, an assisted living facility. The attorney general’s office alleges that O’Connor “recklessly failed to act to prevent the victim from going outdoors into the storm, resulting in her death.”
Nessel said in a statement, “Caregivers have a responsibility under the law to act in the face of grave danger to a vulnerable person in their care.”
O’Connor appeared in court for her arraignment on Monday, Nov. 20, and was given a $5,000 bond. She is set to appear in court again for a probable cause conference on Nov. 30.
- Caregiver Charged in Freezing Death of Elderly Woman – Michigan Attorney General’s Office
- Caregiver charged in 2022 hypothermia death of woman, 82, in Bath Twp. – Lansing State Journal
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