Investigation underway after woman killed in assisted living home

click to enlarge Embassy Management is Aacres' parent company.
Embassy Management is Aacres' parent company.

The state Attorney General's Office is investigating a caregiver who in February gave a woman who is disabled cleaning vinegar instead of laxative solution, killing her, court records say.

A search warrant, filed in Spokane County on Dec. 9, indicates that the caregiver, who worked for a supported living service called Aacres, may have committed manslaughter when she gave the 64-year-old woman, named Marion Wilson, Heinz cleaning vinegar. The Spokane County medical examiner says Wilson died from an accidental ingestion of the vinegar.

The Inlander wrote about the circumstances of the death in August. At the time, the Spokane Police Department couldn't confirm if they were investigating the situation, but the department now says it referred the case to the AG's Office. An investigator with the Medicaid Fraud Control Division of the AG's Office was assigned the case on Aug. 16, according to the warrant.

The state Department of Social and Health Services has cancelled its contracts with Aacres, part of a parent company called Embassy Management, following a series of violations including Wilson's death.

Wilson was scheduled to have a colonoscopy procedure on Feb. 27. The night before, she was supposed to drink a laxative solution in preparation of the procedure. The search warrant says one caregiver from the night before left the Heinz cleaning vinegar behind a coffee pot and the laxative solution in the refrigerator, giving the overnight shift clear instructions that the solution was in the fridge. But a different caregiver from the overnight shift, who has not been charged with a crime and who the Inlander is not naming, had Wilson drink the vinegar instead.

The next morning, Wilson was slurring her words, wheezing and bleeding from her rectum. At one point at the hospital, Wilson said, "This is a really shitty day," the warrant says. She died later that morning.

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About The Author

Wilson Criscione

Wilson Criscione, born and raised in Spokane, is an Inlander staff writer covering education and social services in the Inland Northwest.