PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Phoenix police are now reaching out to the community for help finding a suspect in the case of the vegetative Hacienda Healthcare patient who got pregnant and gave birth to a baby.

In a new press release Wednesday, police called the incident a "sexual assault."

"This could be a very long investigation," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

Hacienda Healthcare has fallen under nationwide scrutiny after a woman who had been in a vegetative state for years became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Woman in vegetative state gives birth at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix]

On Wednesday, Phoenix police held a news conference about the case for the first time since the investigation began.

Police said officers were were first called out to the Hacienda facility on Dec. 29 just before 4 p.m., on a call of an infant who had "coded." (In distress or having trouble breathing.)

When officers arrived "they found a woman in her 20s, who was incapacitated, who had delivered a baby. The baby was in distress. The woman and the baby were transported to a local hospital, and at this time, both the mother and the baby are recovering," according to police.

[WATCH: New details about Hacienda HealthCare patient who gave birth less than two weeks ago]

Because of the circumstances surrounding the incident, detectives from the Phoenix Police Department Family Investigations Bureau were called to the scene that evening, and they immediately began a sexual assault investigation.

"She [the victim] was not in a position to give consent to any of this," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson on Wednesday.

Detectives have been working to identify a suspect in this case. Police said they have a "very wide scope," and that "no one has been ruled out."

On Tuesday, investigators obtained and are testing DNA samples from men who work at the Phoenix nursing facility. Thompson said DNA was gathered from "a large number of individuals."

"DNA will be one of our key tools in this investigation," Thompson said.

[RELATED: Phoenix PD obtain DNA samples from Hacienda HealthCare staff week after vegetative patient gives birth]

The former CEO of that facility has since resigned. Bill Timmons announced his resignation Monday. His resignation was unanimously accepted.

[RELATED: Hacienda Healthcare CEO resigns after vegetative patient gave birth]

Thompson said since the story came to light, threats have been made against Hacienda Healthcare facility. Thompson said off-duty officers have  been providing extra security.

"Steps have been taken to protect anybody who's there," said Thompson.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141. If a caller wishes to remain anonymous, her or she can contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.

"We are now at a point where we need assistance from the community," said Thompson.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(1) comment


This was planned long ago. Do you really think her family did not notice she was pregnant for nine months ?? They had to be in on it some how !!

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