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Suspicious death investigated

Published on July 29th, 2009

Edna Mae Sides’ body was found in front of the Hillside Plaza Nursing Home by staff around 6 a.m.   Hillside Plaza Nursing Home staff found the body of Edna Mae Sides at 6 a.m. but for some reason did not call police for four hours at 10:15 a.m.   The time gap between when Sides’ body was found by nursing home staff, and the time it took staff to call police, triggered an "intense investigation".

"The question always arises, cops are suspicious people, why did it take you four hours to call the police?" said Barry Starnes, Wells Chief of Police.   "The time difference and then finding a body outside one of the residence and bringing it back inside and cleaning it up and all this, to police is very suspicious," said Starnes. "To people who run nursing homes, that’s standard practice."

Evidence suggests that the nursing home failed to supervise the demented resident and she wandered outside and apparently fell outside the nursing home.  Hopefully, the police will ask the right questions:  What was the staffing ratio?  Was the door alarm on?  Was it working? Did anyone respond to it?  Was a bed check done?  When was the last time she was seen?

Starnes said there are still several unanswered questions in this case. "Now, how she got out there, what procedures were not followed or what other things may be wrong, that’s all still under investigation," he said.   "She fell on her face," said Starnes. He said she was unable to get up after the fall.

Joe Pioletti
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