One suspect in Alzheimer's abuse case remains at large - CBS46 News

One suspect in Alzheimer's abuse case remains at large

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Jackson County Sheriff's Office:  Keisha Rollins Jackson County Sheriff's Office: Keisha Rollins

One suspect remains at large in the Alzheimer's Care abuse case in Commerce. Keisha Rollins remains on the run, according the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

Another suspect, Patty Wysong, was arrested Wednesday. Wysong is charged with cruelty to a person over 65, abuse of elder adult, neglect of elder adult and failure to report abuse.

As of July 3, more than half of the suspects arrested when the search warrant was executed at a facility for Alzheimer's patients had bonded out of jail.

A search warrant was executed at Alzheimer's Care of Commerce in Jackson County Tuesday. Seventy-two warrants were issued for the arrests of 21 former and present employees. Fourteen employees, as well as the owner, were booked into the Jackson County Jail for charges ranging from felonies to misdemeanors. Six people remained on the run.

Bond for the defendants ranged from $45,000 to $60,000.

The investigation was launched after a former employee contacted the Commerce Police Department, who then requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's assistance.

According to reports, patients were restrained with bed sheets and kept in inhumane and undignified conditions.

"Undignified conditions refers to what is termed by the facility as double diapering," said GBI Director Vernon Keenan. "They put double diapers on the patients so they don't have to change them as they become soiled."

There were accounts of physical abuse, such as staff members striking patients and throwing water on them, according to police reports.

Mo Wiltshire represents the facility's owner, Donna Wright. He said his client was "devastated".

In a written statement, he said, in part:

"She (Wright) works hard to ensure that the residents of the center are treated like family and enjoy a safe, secure and loving environment. Alzheimer's Care of Commerce has been inspected by government overseers repeatedly during its 18 year existence and until today has never been suspended or shut down by the government for any reason.

"We fully intend to show that the allegations against Mrs. Wright are without a fair basis in fact and that she is innocent of any intentional wrongdoing."

Wilshire told CBS Atlanta he also wanted to see proof of abuse and said he hadn't heard any patients or their families complain.

However, investigators said it would be difficult for family members to know abuse was taking place.

"Many of the indicators of abuse are not obvious, meaning it requires someone who is looking specifically to see if there is a problem," said Keenan.

During the investigation, the GBI also learned patients were also being cared for by people with prior felony convictions ranging from voluntary manslaughter to drug charges to identify theft, which also violates Georgia law.

As of Wednesday, Marquese Chavev Butler, Shirley Jean James, Stella Louise Strickland, Lonnie Weldon Strickland, Judy Nell Baird, Susan Martin, Donna Wright, Deborah Nation, Jonathan Elrod, Keyonna Pittman, Myra Kitchens, Danny Sue Wingfield, Mary Crystal Elrod, Crista Pittman and Brittany Rollins had all been booked at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

A total of 27 patients were in the facility. All were evaluated and then transferred to other homes.

Jackson County Sheriff's office posted on its website that if anyone has information on the whereabouts of Keisha Rollins to contact the sheriff's office at (706) 367-8718 or the Anonymous Tip Line at (706) 367-3784.

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