Nurse Finally Arrested After Woman In 'Vegetative' State Gives Birth -- Thanks to DNA

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pregnant belly
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Since police officers responded to a call about a baby in distress at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix, Arizona, they've been on the hunt for the father of the baby. As the baby was born to a mother in what was originally described as a vegetative state, there was no doubt the child was conceived without consent. On Tuesday, roughly one month after reports came in, police finally have a suspect. 

  • In a press conference on January 23, Phoenix spokesperson Sgt. Tommy Thompson named 26-year-old Nathan Sutherland as an official suspect. 

    Thompson said that Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse at the facility since 2011, was arrested after a court-ordered DNA sample he provided matched the baby's. He faces one count of abusing a vulnerable adult and one count of sexual assault.

    Thompson also noted that the DNA results were obtained through mandatory swabs of all the facilities' male employees earlier in the month, according to KTAR News.

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  • The woman, who has been incapacitated since she was 3 years old, gave birth to a baby boy December 29. 

    Though the victim was originally described as being in a vegetative state, John Micheaels, the victim's family’s lawyer, clarified that she has “significant intellectual disabilities." She is not able to speak but does have some mobility in her limbs, head, and neck. She also responds to sound and is able to make facial gestures.

  • Facility workers reportedly had no idea she was pregnant.

    According to reports, the 29-year-old vicitm's last physical took place in April 2018 -- right around the time she would have gotten pregnant. Police were able to confirm that Sutherland was working and taking care of the victim around the time the assault would have taken place. 

  • Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons resigned shortly after the investigation began.

    Since then, two doctors who cared for the victim have left the facility as well. 

    Police have also said that the investigation is still ongoing to determine how many times the victims was actually sexually abused.