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State Now Investigating Nursing Home Where Resident Went Missing, Died

By Susy Solis, CBS 11 News
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img00001 20120716 1734 State Now Investigating Nursing Home Where Resident Went Missing, Died

Luis Martinez, 78, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and died after wandering away from the nursing home where he lived. (Credit: Martinez Family)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services is now investigating a Fort Worth nursing home that housed an Alzheimer’s patient who disappeared and was found dead a week later.

The last time 78-year-old Luis Martinez was seen alive was July 8, when Fort Worth Police issued a Silver Alert for him. He had disappeared from the Estates Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and police believed he was in grave danger.

Administrators at the facility told family members they were searching for Martinez, but his family had begun searching on their own. A week later, Martinez’s son spotted a foot sticking out of a hole in a creek at Hallmark Park, just four blocks from the nursing home where his father had disappeared.

It was the decomposed body of his father.

The family’s questions about how this could have happened, considering Martinez was supposed to be wearing an ankle monitor to prevent him from leaving the facility, remain unanswered.

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) last inspected the facility in June of 2012. The facility had three deficiencies cited regarding federal standards, including that the facility “did not have a program to keep infection from spreading.”

In addition, the report showed six violations of state standards, including the “facility failed to establish and maintain an infection control program.”

The report showed the average state health standard score is a seven; Estates Healthcare and Rehabilitation scored a three. The average state Life Safety standard score is an eight; Estates Healthcare and Rehab scored a three, well below average in both categories.

Bob Rice, Vice President of Corporate Compliance and risk management for Divericare Management Services, the nursing home’s parent company, said it had “no comment.”

Their governing body, the DADS, also said the facility hasn’t been quick to give them information.

“We were notified on July 14 that the facility had a resident that had been missing since July 9th,” said Cecilia Cavuto, a press officer for DADS.

That is six days after Martinez was last seen. Now the Department of Aging and Disability Services is stepping in and have begun an investigation.

The family is hoping an investigation with garner answers.

The Fort Worth Police Department is also conducting its own investigation.

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