Caretaker arrested after blind dementia patient wanders away, dies in creek
BLAIRS MILLS, Pa. —
State troopers arrested a personal care home provider after a blind dementia patient wandered away from her room and was found dead in a nearby creek Wednesday morning. According to a criminal complaint obtained by 6News, Connie Ann Souders was charged with felony neglect of a care dependent person and involuntary manslaughter. Troopers said 70-year-old Sally Jean Fultz, who moved into the Sleepy Hollow Personal Care Center in Blairs Mills last month, was found dead in a creek about 100 yards away from the building.
Court documents said Souders did not renew her license with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare over the summer and that she turned off three audible alarms on the doors of dementia patients because they “annoy” her. “The most infuriating situation is there were alarms on Ms. Fultz door, which were removed by the defendant,” said Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic. “This defendant had a high duty of care. She was receiving a significant amount of money per month to take care of Ms. Fultz. It just wasn’t happening. When you agree to put yourself in that position to take care of elderly residents, that’s your job. The neglect and recklessness here is uncalled for.”
The personal care home has been shut down and the four remaining residents have been moved to other facilities. Souders is being held on $100,000 straight cash bail and is expected to face a judge for her preliminary hearing next week.