First of 3 mysterious deaths in Chicago Nursing Home ruled Homicide
Written by Jeff Meyer on April 6, 2015
Police have been investigating the deaths of 3 residents at Holland Home, an assisted living facility in South Holland, Illinios, after six residents of the nursing home were hospitalized. This incident occured on February 3, when David Mills, chief operating officer of Villa Healthcare, which manages Holland Home, called 911 as several residents had experienced “Respiratory and blood pressure issues,” falling ill from unknown causes. Among these residents was Dorothy Byrd, 98-years-old, whom died the following day after being admitted to the hospital. Fire officials on the scene recorded that neither carbon monoxide, nor any other gas appeared to be the cause of the illnesses and the death.
Recently, South Holland police have learned that two of the six residents, Robert Rundin, 88-years-old, and Leon Krynicki, 98-years-old, also had died. Rundin died on March 7 and Krynicki on March 9. Their causes of death remain under investigation.The other three residents who were hospitalized have now recovered.
Until now, the death of Dorothy Byrd had been a mystery. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office representative released that toxic levels of two painkilling drugs, morphine and hydrocodone toxicity, combined with hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, contributed to Byrd’s death.
Dorothy Byrd’s daughter, Sandra Byrd Peterson, calls her mother’s death a betrayal. “I Sent my mother to Holland to be cared for, to provide the care that we could no longer provide, she said. “I didn’t send her there to be murdered.”The Byrd family has not filed a lawsuit, yet.Tom Paris, the Byrd’s family attorney, calls the deed intentional. “I don’t believe the medical examiner lightly calls something a homicide,” he said. “I don’t believe that six and perhaps seven people on the same wing of the nursing home, and no one else at the nursing home, end up at hospitals on the morning of February 2. All of it is consistent with intentional conduct.”
Mills issued a written statement: “We’re continuing to cooperate closely with local law enforcement’s ongoing investigation and are referring all questions to them until that’s concluded. Our own internal investigation is also ongoing, consistent with our commitment to provide quality resident care.”Four of the facility’s residents were taking to Ingalls Hospital and two to Munster Community Hospital after the incident. Police are awaiting toxicology reports from both hospitals, along with the autopsy reports before proceeding with their investigation.
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