3 charged in death of Colorado woman left outside assisted living facility on 102-degree day

GRAND JUNCTION — Three workers are being prosecuted in the death of an 86-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease at an assisted living facility in western Colorado after allegedly leaving her outside in the heat for six hours.

The workers each have been charged with negligent death of an at-risk person and criminally negligent homicide, both felonies, in the death of Hazel Place at Cappella Assisted Living and Memory in Grand Junction on June 14, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Tuesday.

Two of them have also been charged with second-degree forgery, a misdemeanor, for allegedly forging patient records, according to court documents, The Daily Sentinel reported.

Weiser’s office did not provide details about how Place died. National Weather Service data shows that the high temperature in Grand Junction that day was 102 degrees.

In a statement, Cappella said it reported the circumstances surrounding Place’s death to regulators and conducted an internal investigation which led to the dismissal of two of the workers. The third has been placed on “investigatory leave,” it said.

“We are very saddened by the passing of this beloved resident, and we continue to send our sincerest sympathy to this resident’s family and friends,” it said.

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