BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry began an investigation into the deaths of four nursing home residents in Tangipahoa Parish.
More than 800 residents were moved safely to other sites.
Many nursing home evacuees were transported here to the LSU field house after four deaths and several hospitalizations at the warehouse in Independence. Many people are still searching for their family members after the center was shut down.
Stella Franklin was searching for her mother Louverda Chiasson, one of the evacuees from the warehouse in Independence. She came to the LSU field house looking for her mother after the news broke yesterday.
“I was very concerned. My anxiety was through the roof, ” said Franklin.
She said she had no idea her mother was moved to the warehouse and then transported to LSU. She found out where her mother was when she received a call from her last night.
“She’s been crying. She said she wants to be home. She’s uncomfortable,” she said.
Franklin said her city was destroyed by Hurricane Ida, however, she traveled all the way from Lafourche Parish with no power, water or fuel to pick her up.
“Here, she said it’s hell. Now, I don’t know what the conditions are there. She said she just wants a shower, she wants her medicine, she wants to be able to lay in her bed,” she said.
Attorney General Jeff Landry said he wasn’t immediately told about the investigation. He is now questioning local investigators.
“The sheriff in the parish and local police chief in the town of where these deaths occurred said they do not intend to investigate these deaths,” he said.
He said he is launching a full investigation.
“Yesterday, late in the afternoon, my office announced official word that multiple deaths occurred among Louisiana nursing home residents in Tangipahoa Parish. This official notification came to our office just as public news was breaking of these tragic deaths,” said Landry.
He wants to answer many unanswered questions.
“Our goal is to determine who decided to move the patients to this apparently unsafe and inappropriate facility. Who authorized that these patients be moved to that facility? Who oversaw the movement? Who later turned away career staff members of the Louisiana Department of Health when they attempted to look into this situation? And why did the police chief and the sheriff state an investigation was not needed? How exactly did these deaths occur?” asked Landry.
Back at the LSU field house, Franklin came out empty-handed.
“I was able to get her debit card. They would not let me see her. They’re extremely rude there,” said Franklin.
She said the doctor wouldn’t allow her to take her because they don’t have water in their city. Franklin said she will be back tomorrow and attempt to get her mother.