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Rock Hill police find no evidence of neglect in woman’s death at assisted living facility

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Rock Hill police launched an investigation into an assisted living facility after the death of a woman earlier this month and recently found “no evidence” to support negligence.

The woman reportedly spent 10 hours in the cold after wandering from Carolina Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Center on Lexington Commons Drive, near the Catawba River and Interstate 77.

State health officials also cited Carolina Gardens.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control sent Channel 9′s Tina Terry the report from its investigation into the incident, which includes details about several citations the facility must work to correct.

In a newly released 911 call, someone, who appears to be an employee, said she found the patient outside in the cold.

“What’s going on there?” the dispatcher asked.

“One of my residents came out here in the middle of the night, and she fell on the ground and she, I don’t know,” the caller said. “I know she been out here all night on the ground.”

An employee of the facility, who asked to remain anonymous, first told Channel 9 about the incident earlier this month.

The employee said a staffing shortage led to the incident and that no one checked rooms the night before to ensure all patients were there.

“Is she awake?” the dispatcher asked.

“Um, she’s sleeping,” the caller frantically said. “She don’t have her eyes open. They’re closed and she won’t respond to us.”

“Okay, alright. Is she breathing?” the dispatcher inquired.

“Yes,” the caller said.

Channel 9 also obtained calls from the emergency response that morning.

A York County emergency dispatcher called Rock Hill police to let them know a patient at Carolina Gardens had been found outside in the cold.

“Hey, it’s Morgan with county. Can you go with us to 1785 Lexington Commons Drive? It’s Agape, or Carolina Gardens. Nursing home there,” the dispatcher said.

“Alright what’s going on?” a second dispatcher asked.

“Um, they have a patient that apparently at some point during the night went outside and fell and has been laying in the parking lot all night long,” the first dispatcher responded.

“Nobody in the nursing home checked on her all night long,” one dispatcher said in the emergency calls.

“Ugh, she’s an elderly female, right?” the second dispatcher asked.

“Yeah, she’s 70,” the first dispatcher replied.

“Yeah, we’ll see you there,” the second dispatcher said.

DHEC said it launched an investigation after the alleged incident. It sent a report Monday, which included several citations.

“The facility’s internal investigation documents that resident a was found outside on the ground,” according to the report. “The facility did not take special precautions for residents with special conditions to include dementia and know resident A’s whereabouts at all times,” the report continued.

The report also said the facility failed to update the patient’s individual care plan after a recent diagnosis.

DHEC said it also cited the facility because two workers on the staff did not have a SLED background check.

Channel 9 called and emailed the facility twice after the incident and again Monday but has not received a response.

An attorney for the victim’s family said she died shortly after the incident.

(WATCH BELOW: Woman spent hours in cold after wandering from Rock Hill nursing home, family says)