LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) — A now former employee at a Lorain County nursing facility is the focus of a police investigation into her treatment of patients, after detectives stumbled onto disturbing photos and videos on her phone while investigating an unrelated crime.
The story began to unfold after a gunman opened fire on a house on West 21st Street in Lorain on a steamy night in July, killing two-year-old Camily Patterson and wounding two adults inside the home.
Police vowed to leave no stone unturned in their search for the killer.
“Obviously when you see a young child like that murdered in that fashion, you know it’s hard to deal with,” said Lorain Police Detective Sgt. Buddy Sivert.
Police quickly identified a person of interest in the triple shooting, and it led them to question a friend of the potential suspect. Investigators say 26-year-old Jocelyn Wright provided an alibi for the suspect that turned out to be false.
Wright was charged with obstructing official business.
“Basically she lied to us, she admitted that she lied to us,” said Sgt. Sivert.
Police say Wright gave investigators permission to check her cell phone in their search for any communication with the murder suspect. Photos and videos that they found on the phone took their investigation of Jocelyn Wright into a totally different direction.
“Disturbing photos of patients naked, lying on the floor, patients that appeared to have fallen back from their wheelchairs you know basically upside down, patients on the toilet,” said Sgt. Sivert.
Lorain police say their investigation revealed that Wright was a care giver at the Main Street Care Center in Avon Lake, and that the photos and videos on her phone were of patients at the facility.
Police have turned over the evidence they found on Wright’s phone to Avon Lake Police. Detectives are now trying to determine if Wright should face criminal charges for her conduct at the nursing center.
“She would, instead of looking out for these patients, caring for these patients, she would take time to take photos of patients in distress and then send them to other people. That in itself should be enough for her to never work in a facility or an agency where she would care for patients,” said Sgt. Sivert.
The parent company of Main Street, Sprenger Health Care System, issued the following statement:
“Main Street Care Center management is saddened to confirm they are conducting an investigation in cooperation with local law enforcement regarding a past employee who took unauthorized pictures of facility residents. These actions are not only against company policy, but strongly condemned by the organization as a whole. This employee has been terminated from Main Street Care Center. Upon notification of the incident, it was immediately reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and resident family members of the involved parties living at Main Street Care Center. Furthermore, once the investigation is concluded, the facility will submit a final report to ODH, the Board of Nursing and take all possible employment related and legal actions to the fullest extent. This type of behavior is not, and will not be tolerated. Main Street Care Center takes the safety and security of our residents very seriously. Re-education is being provided to all staff members to assure they are aware this type of action is not acceptable. While we again, are strongly disappointed by this situation, we would like to assure our residents, families, and the general public that Main Street Care Center has many excellent employees who care for their residents as if they were a member of their own family.”
Avon Lake police are trying to identify the patients and making contact with their families.
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