A man named Nathan Sutherland has been arrested in the case that has captured America’s attention where a woman in a long-term vegetative state recently gave birth in a care facility in Arizona. Sutherland, 36, has been arrested on suspicion of having sexually assaulted the woman who recently gave birth.
Sutherland is said to be a licensed practical nurse who worked at the Hacienda HealthCare facility where the woman was living. CNN shares that the news of the arrest came from Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams on Wednesday morning.
The suspect was caring for the woman at the Phoenix facility, and he is being booked with one sexual assault charge and one vulnerable-adult abuse charge for now. AZ Central details that the arrest came after a DNA sample from Sutherland was tested and found to match the baby. He was taken into custody after the test results became available, but he apparently has declined to answer the questions of investigators.
Williams said that investigators have worked on the case nonstop since they were made aware of the situation. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, the woman gave birth at the end of December and until the baby was born, nobody even knew she was pregnant.
Time shares that the unnamed 29-year-old woman has been a resident of Hacienda HealthCare for 26 years, having become incapacitated when she was just 3-years-old. Court records have noted that she is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and has needed a maximum level of care throughout her time at the facility.
JUST IN: Mugshot of 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland who is accused of raping and impregnating a woman in a vegetative state at #HaciendaHealthcare .... Police say his DNA matched the baby. @FOX10Phoenix #Fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/joqPvZItiR— Jennifer Martinez (@Jennifer_Fox10) January 23, 2019
The two physicians who were primarily responsible for the woman’s care are no longer caring for patients at Hacienda. The care facility has reportedly made additional changes to try to ensure a case like this never transpires there again. In addition, investigators detail that the investigation is now broadening to try to determine whether any other patients were assaulted by Sutherland.
Photos were not made immediately available as the arrest of Sutherland was announced. However, the suspect’s mugshot has now been released by Maricopa County in Arizona and has hit media outlets and social media. Reports detail that he has asserted his fifth amendment rights and that the DNA sample was just recently collected as the investigation into the incident moved forward.
Clearly, things are now developing rapidly with this case and additional details should emerge soon. Many will be following what happens next with Nathan Sutherland, anxious to see justice served for this Arizona woman, her baby boy, and their extended family.