Missing nursing home resident found dead in walk-in freezer

Ohio police are investigating the death of an 86-year-old woman with dementia who was found in a nursing home’s walk-in freezer several hours after the facility reported her missing Sept. 15, reports the Dayton Daily News.

Staff at the Dayton, Ohio-based Maria-Joseph Nursing and Rehabilitation Center called police around 1:40 a.m., after the resident, Sofiya Perel, left a secure unit on the facility’s fourth floor. 

“The alarm didn’t go off,” a nurse told 911 dispatchers, according to local station WHIO. “We don’t know how she got out.”

Staff called the police after searching for Ms. Perel for two hours. Police and nursing home staff searched the facility for another two hours before finding Ms. Perel’s body in the walk-in freezer around 4 a.m.

Montgomery County (Ohio) Coroner Kent Harshbarger, MD, said the cause and manner of her death have not been determined, according to the report.

Editor’s note: Becker’s reached out to Maria-Joseph Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for comment and will update the article as additional information is available.

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