By Nicole Darrah, ,
Published November 22, 2017
Authorities in Florida have declared the deaths of 12 of 14 nursing home patients who died after Hurricane Irma as homicides.
Patients living at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were evacuated on Sept. 13 as Hurricane Irma hit the area. Eight residents died that day, and six others died in the following weeks.
A spokeswoman for the Hollywood Police Department told the Sun Sentinel that someone could be charged in their deaths.
“Who gets charged is part of the continuing investigation,” Hollywood Police Department Miranda Grossman told the newspaper. “We don’t have a timeline of when there would be charges at this point.”
The patients died in September after the nursing home’s central air conditioning failed during the hurricane.
Twelve of those deaths were ruled homicides due to heat exposure, and two other people died from causes not related to the heat conditions, the Sentinel reported.
Hollywood Hills initially laid off 245 employees a week after Irma, but the nursing home was later shut down by the state.