State health officials probe Pandora nursing home death

By J Swygart -

PANDORA — Investigators from the Ohio Department of Health have completed their investigation into the death of an elderly woman found outside a Pandora nursing home, but the results of that probe will not be released for another week or more.

Phyllis Campbell, 76, a resident of Hilty Memorial Home in Pandora, was found dead outside that facility early Sunday morning. Putman County Coroner Dr. Anna Horstman ruled Campbell’s death to be the result of hypothermia.

The circumstances behind the woman’s death, including how and when she may have left the nursing home, have yet to be addressed by investigators from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Pandora Police Department.

Melanie Amato, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Health, said Wednesday that a team of investigators from the state health agency have “conducted a survey of the facility” and have wrapped up their probe.

The report will be made public after it is written and submitted to the agency. Amato said that process typically takes seven to 10 days.

Laura Voth, chief executive officer of Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio, released a statement late Tuesday addressing the incident.

“First and foremost, we are grieving for the family and grieving the loss of our resident. This is personal work and our staff and elders become like family. Our sympathy is extended to the family in their time of loss,” Voth said in a prepared statement.

“We are working closely with the local police department, the sheriff’s department and the Ohio Department of Health to conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances. We are unable to discuss the details of the investigation at this time. The health and safety of our elders is of utmost importance to us,” said Voth.

By J Swygart

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

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