Man, 90, found dead after being left in van outside Ariz. assisted living facility
MESA, Ariz. (KPHO/KTVK) - The family of a 90-year-old Arizona man with Alzheimer’s is demanding answers after he was found dead in a transport van outside his assisted living facility. His family believes he was left in the van for nearly 20 hours before anyone even realized he was missing.
Kylie Bearse got an unexpected call from her dad Thursday morning, telling her her 90-year-old grandfather, Lawrence Bearse, had died.
“He said Grandpy passed away, and it’s immediately sad. But then, he goes, ‘It gets worse,’” Kylie Bearse said.
Lawrence Bearse, who had advanced Alzheimer’s, had been living in the Canyon Winds Assisted Living & Memory Care facility in Mesa, Arizona, since June 2020. His wife of 67 years went to visit him Thursday, but nobody could find him, according to Kylie Bearse.
After retracing his day, they recalled Lawrence Bearse had gone to a doctor’s appointment Wednesday afternoon. He was found dead in the back of the facility’s transport van.
Family members believe he was left outside in the van for 20 hours.
“This is horrific, and it shouldn’t have happened,” Kylie Bearse said. “The amount of anger that you feel when you hear that is just – My family, we don’t know how to explain it. We’re just all in shock.”
Kylie Bearse says she and her family will remember so much about her grandfather: his pride in being a U.S. Marine, his humor that could make their entire family laugh and his amazing golf skills.
But while those memories will keep them smiling, the Bearse family desperately wants answers.
“He lived an incredibly respectful life. He should be able to die with some sort of dignity and not being forgotten in the back of a van. So, we’re very upset, very angry, and we have questions, too, like how could this happen?” Kylie Bearse said.
Both police and the state health department are investigating the incident.
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