Pennsylvania nursing home worker allegedly took photos of dead residents

A certified nursing assistant in Pennsylvania was arrested  Wednesday for allegedly taking photos of deceased residents at the nursing home where she worked and sharing them with coworkers and friends, according to reports.

Stephanie R. Thomas was charged with three misdemeanor counts of abuse of a corpse for the alleged pictures taken at the county-owned Berks Heim Nursing & Rehabilitation in Leesport, Pa., WFMZ-TV reported.

"The mere act of taking the photos was in and of itself inappropriate," Berks County District Attorney John Adams said.

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Berks Heim Nursing & Rehabilitation

Berks Heim Nursing & Rehabilitation (Berks County)

"These families, they were particularly outraged that their photographs of deceased family members (were) exposed to public view," he added, according to WFMZ.

The investigation began at the end of September when the director of nursing at Berks Heim contacted police after receiving an anonymous letter detailing Thomas' alleged behavior.

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Thomas allegedly told police she only took the photos because her boyfriend “liked that kind of thing,” but multiple people interviewed said she was “obsessed with death” and had texted them photos of the deceased residents.

Investigators said they found three photos on Thomas’ phone of dead residents, including one of a woman whose head was bleeding. The photos were taken in April, May and July on the days the residents had died, the report said.

Family members told police they were “disgusted” by Thomas’ photos and confirmed they had not given consent for her to take them.

Court documents say Thomas was suspended from her job in September but the county has not said whether she still works there, WFMZ reported.

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Thomas’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for December.