3 indicted in death of nursing home patient

By EILEEN MCCLORY
STAFF WRITER

A Putnam County grand jury has indicted three women in the case of a female patient who died after wandering outside of Hilty Home, a Pandora nursing home, in January.

Rachel R. Friesel, 36, and Destini M. Fenbert, 20, both of Pandora, were each charged with involuntary manslaughter, a third-degree felony; forgery, a fifth-degree felony; gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor; and patient neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Megan E. Schnipke, 31, of Columbus Grove, was charged with forgery, a fifth-degree felony; gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor; and patient neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor.

The indictment does not specify what role the women played in the death.

An arraignment for the women is scheduled May 16.

Phyllis J. Campbell, 76, formerly of Findlay, died Jan. 7 outside the Pandora nursing home, which is operated by Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio.

According to an Ohio Department of Health and Human Services report issued later in January, two state-tested nurse aides (STNA) and one licensed practical nurse (LPN) were placed on administrative leave following the incident.

A nurse aide put Campbell to bed around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 6. At 9:50 p.m., Campbell was seen at a nursing station getting snacks, according to the state report.

A nurse said the last check on Campbell was performed around midnight.

Campbell left the building around 12:35 a.m. through the dining room exit doors, according to the report. The temperature was 2 degrees below zero and there was snow on the ground.

She was not found for about eight hours, even though checks on Campbell were documented as having been done at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Putnam County Coroner Dr. Anne Horstman determined that Campbell died between 1 and 2 a.m.

Campbell left the building through a set of doors whose alarm should have gone off, the report said.

Employees tested the alarm system on the doors the day after Campbell’s death. They found that when the doors were propped open, the alarm did not consistently go off.

Propping open those doors was common so staff could freely walk between units, according to the state report.

A bracelet Campbell wore also failed to sound an alarm, according to the report.

Two state-tested nurse aides said they did not check on Campbell at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., though checks were documented as being completed, the report said.

A nurse aide entered Campbell’s room at about 8:20 a.m. Jan. 7 and discovered she was not there. Staff began looking for her.

Campbell’s body was found about 30 feet into the courtyard, near a swing set.

McClory: 419-427-8497
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Twitter: @CourierEileen



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