ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — Two people are facing charges concerning the beating of an 82-year-old woman with dementia.
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Rockledge police said the man beat the woman while the other worker helped cover up the evidence.
Rockledge Deputy Police Chief Donna Seyferth said what happened at Alura Senior Living on Christmas Day has shaken the department.
“For us and for anyone who has older parents, it’s pretty terrifying,” she said.
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Officers responded to the assisted living facility after the patient’s daughter came to pick her up – only to find her with bruises, sitting in the dark and appearing to look like she had been crying.
Investigators said the older woman suffered a brain bleed from the beating.
When initially questioned, the woman’s caregiver Daniel Villarreal said he didn’t notice any bruises.
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Arrest documents show Alura’s executive director Kelly Shovlin told him to say that and to clean the woman’s laundry, bedding and blood to hide evidence from investigators.
Shovlin and Villarreal repeatedly lied to investigators before officers said he admitted to choking and hitting the woman. Police said Villarreal then began to cry, saying he was not a bad person and that life was unfair to him.
Channel 9 went to Villarreal’s home to ask about what happened, but he didn’t answer the door.
Neighbor Crystal Greggs said she couldn’t believe it when we told her what happened.
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Alura said the facility had fired both employees. The facility’s record on the agency of healthcare administration shows 12 complaints since 2021, including multiple instances of lack of supervision from caregivers.
In one case from Dec.19, a senior went to the hospital with a hematoma after a fall. And in May last year, cops found a dementia patient wandering on a four-lane road approximately one mile from Alura.
Police believe more victims could still be out there and said signs of abuse could include suspicious bruising and explanations from staff that don’t add up with the injuries.
If this is happening to any of your loved ones, Seyferth advised calling the police immediately.
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