Police obtain DNA from staff in case of woman in coma who gave birth

DNA samples collected in case of woman in coma who gave birth

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK/CNN) - The family of the woman who got pregnant while in a vegetative state said through an attorney that she gave birth to a baby boy.

They said the baby was born into a loving family and he would be cared for. The San Carlos Apache Tribe identified the unnamed 29-year-old woman as one of its members.

Meanwhile, police are collecting DNA samples, as they investigate how she got pregnant.

She gave birth in December, even though she's been comatose at a healthcare facility for more than a decade. Hacienda Healthcare says investigators served a warrant Tuesday, asking for the DNA samples from male employees.

Police also have faced backlash over what they're calling this case. People on social media asked why police will not call it a sex crime investigation.

All they've said is they're investigating "a matter."

"The question that people are going to have is, 'What do the police have to hide?'" said Bill Richardson, a former sex crimes investigator.

Richardson says he doesn't understand why police are being secretive.

"I can't think of a legitimate reason not to call it what it is," he said. "The woman who gave birth is incapable of giving consent, means that it's a sexual assault. And it's that simple."

Information on the warrants for DNA came from Hacienda staff, not a police department spokesperson.

Richardson called the department's secrecy "foolish," knowing someone would reveal details to the public. He says even if police need to keep parts of the investigation confidential, they should say that.

He says by saying nothing, they're creating distrust in the community. And with no suspect caught, police should want people to know what's going on and to come forward if they know something.

"If I'm a victim or a witness or I have information, well, can I trust the cops?" Richardson said. "Can I trust them? Or should I just keep my mouth shut? You don't want people with information not coming forth."

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