Webster Group Home Resident Dies


WHEC - "The state and local police are investigating how a young woman died while in the care of New York State.

The woman lived in a group home in Webster. On Father's Day, she lost consciousness, stopped breathing and died that night at Rochester General Hospital. The family is now looking for answers.

The family of Heather Roselli says their daughter would have what they call "behaviors." The family says the staff at the group home is trained to subdue her, sometimes by physically taking their daughter down to the ground.

The family says that's what happened on Sunday. But the family says when they saw her at the hospital Sunday night they knew something bad happened.

Roselli was 35 years old. She loved doing art and making bead bracelets for her family.

"Just the most caring, sweetest person you could ever meet," says Keith Parks, Heather's father.

Heather was one of eight people living in this group home in Webster. Her family says the home called them on Sunday. Her family says the home told them Heather had behaviors and staff took her down to the floor. They call it "SCIP."

"During the process of the SCIP, she became unresponsive and they noticed she was not breathing," says Keith Parks.

Parks and his family went to Rochester General Hospital where Heather was taken. He says social workers warned them about what they were about to see.

"And nothing prepares you for that, ever," he says.

"A complete lifeless child," adds Holly Parks, Heather's mother. "All bruised up... Skin off her chin, her toes."

The doctors told Keith and Holly that Heather would have brain damage from lack of oxygen. They took her off life support at 9 p.m.; she died 40 minutes later.

Wednesday, we went to the group home in Webster. The woman who answered the door said she could not talk. Neighbors say police were at the home for hours on Sunday. The family says police have talked to them.

Berkeley Brean: "Did anybody in a position of authority tell you what happened to her in the house that day?"Keith Parks: "No. We have no answers yet."

He adds, "I want a thorough investigation into her death... So this never happens to another family, to another person. Nobody should go through this."

Wednesday afternoon, News10NBC learned two employees involved in the incident have fired. Another employee has been placed on administrative leave.

The group home is run by Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Service Office. The office told us to contact the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities. 

In a statement, OPWDD officials said: “We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of life. OPWDD immediately notified local law enforcement and the State Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs to ensure that this matter is investigated and appropriately acted upon. Due to the ongoing investigations, we can have no further comment at this time.”"

Story Courtesy of WHEC

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