SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill — The death of a 98-year-old woman who was a resident at Holland Home in the south suburbs is under investigation.
Police and the medical examiner don’t know yet what killed the woman and sickened five others.
On Tuesday February 3, six residents of Holland Home, a multi-care nursing home facility in South Holland became sick. They were taken to the hospital for respiratory and blood pressure issues. All the residents were located in the assisted living wing on the 5th floor. Initially fire officials thought carbon monoxide or gas was leaking in the building but they quickly ruled that out.
A day later, 98-year-old Dorothy Byrd died. An autopsy couldn’t figure out the cause of death so a full toxicology test is being done on Dorothy and the other five residents who recovered.
Dorothy’s daughter tells WGN News her mother was in good health for her age. She had seen her the night before she got ill and she was fine.
Now, there is a full blown investigation involving state and local officials.
Police are interviewing everybody who was in the building on February 3. Besides the South Holland police department, the South Suburban Major Crimes task force is involved, the Illinois Dept of Public Health and the state police Medicare fraud unit – which is called in if there’s ever a question involving dispensing medication to residents of nursing homes who are over 65.
The chief operating officer for Holland Home issued a statement that says in part, “When the official inquiry has concluded, we will work with the authorities to take any appropriate measures. We are also conducting our own internal investigation, consistent with our commitment to provide quality resident care.”
Police will determine from the toxicology report if criminal charges will be filed.