Woman in Vegetative State For 10 Years Gives Birth, Arizona Police Launch Sex Assault Investigation

Police in Phoenix, Arizona, have launched a sexual abuse investigation after a female patient in a vegetative state became pregnant and gave birth.

The woman has been a patient at Hacienda Healthcare facility for ten years, after she nearly drowned and was left in a vegetative state. She gave birth to a baby boy on December 29, an anonymous source told KPHO-TV, a local CBS News affiliate.

A Phoenix Police spokesman said that the case is “currently under investigation,” but provided no details on the nature of the investigation, or when it was launched.

In a statement to news outlets, Hacienda Healthcare said, "We have recently become aware of a deeply disturbing incident involving the health and safety of a Hacienda resident. As an organization, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter," the statement said.

The company said it could not comment further on individual cases, but was cooperating with police and had launched its own internal inquiry into the case.

The nursing home source told KPHO: "None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth. From what I know the baby is alive, and the baby is healthy." The source added that the patient received around-the-clock-care, and multiple people had access to her room.

In a statement, a spokesman for Arizona governor Doug Ducey said he had been “informed of the situation that occurred at this healthcare facility and finds the reports deeply troubling. The governor was briefed on these reports as soon as our office learned of them, and our state agencies immediately began taking every measure to protect patient safety."

The Arizona Department of Health Services told NBC News it had launched its own investigation into the facility and had implemented "heightened safety measures".

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Arizona Governor Doug Ducey described the incident as "disturbing." Ducey is pictured here speaking at the 28th Annual Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party at Arizona Science Center on January 31, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. Getty Images