AP NEWS

Nursing home aide charged in death of patient with dementia

March 2, 2020 GMT

HARTVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A nurse’s aide who was working when a patient with dementia wandered away from a nursing home two years ago and later died has now been charged with reckless homicide and gross patient neglect.

The Canton Repository reports that federal agents arrested Dewarn Bell, 53, at her Hartville home on Thursday, citing Stark County Jail records. She was being held without bond, and it wasn’t known Monday if she’s retained an attorney.

County Prosecutors said Bell was working at the nursing home when Mark Billiter, 56, walked out of the facility. He was later found by Canton police and told them he wanted to go home to Alliance.

Unaware he had left the nursing home, officers drove him as far as they were permitted — to the city limits. He was found dead two days later next to a small building outside a self-serve gas station, about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the nursing home.

The Stark County Coroner’s Office said Billiter’s death was later ruled accidental and due to “environmental exposure, secondary to vascular dementia and schizophrenia.”

The charges against Bell stem from an investigation by local authorities and and thew Ohio Attorney General’s Office. However, investigators declined to elaborate on the charges and what led to them, the newspaper reported.