Police intend to seek a homicide charge in the death of an Alzheimer’s patient of a Miami Twp. facility, despite a ruling that he died from natural causes.
Robert Winfield’s Nov. 3 death was a result of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease with end-stage Alzheimer’s as a “contributing factor,” the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Wednesday.
Yet Miami Twp. police will pursue a homicide charge because “there’s other evidence in the case — that obviously I can’t discuss…..that we want to present to allow the prosecutor’s office to make the decision” on, Det. Bill Jones said.
Police have been investigating the case as a homicide because of the nature and severity of Winfield’s injuries.
Winfield, 80, died about a month after suffering what police called “serious” head and neck injuries at the Wood Glen Alzheimer’s Community, 3800 Summit Glen Drive, where the Centerville resident was a patient.
Winfield suffered from “forced trauma,” a coroner’s office spokeswoman said, but the ruling indicates “a natural death.”
Arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease occurs in a person due to the thickening or blockage of the artery walls. The disease is “severe,” and it increases as a people age, according to arteriosclerotic.org.
Police will likely meet with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office in the next few weeks, Jones said. They may also seek patient neglect and/or tampering with evidence charges, he said.
“At that point it will be the decision of the prosecutor’s office on what charges they will move forward with,” Jones said.
Police became involved in the case after they responded Oct. 5 to a reported felonious assault at Wood Glen, records show. Police said Winfield was later taken to Sycamore Medical Center.
After the death, Wood Glen issued a statement indicating staff and management “deeply regret what has transpired at our facility.” It declined comment on Wednesday, citing a desire “to protect the privacy of our residents and their families,” according to Fred Stratmann, general counsel for its parent company, CommuniCare Health Services.
Wood Glen has had its license since June 1988, according to the Ohio Department of Health. An ODH spokeswoman has said it has no record of any action taken against the facility.
During the investigation, police said they interviewed several witnesses and Wood Glen employees. They also enlisted the help of state agencies — including the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and from the ODH – and the case was reviewed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
They have also fielded complaints from relatives of patients or former patients of Wood Glen.
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