Arizona man, 90, died after being left in a nursing home van for 20 hours

“This is horrible and it shouldn’t have happened,” granddaughter Kylie Bearse (pictured right) told WWNYTV. “The amount of anger you feel when you hear that is just – My family, we don’t know how to explain it. We’re all just in shock.’

A 90-year-old ex-Marine, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, was found dead in the back seat of a nursing home van after staff reportedly left him there for 20 hours.

Canyon Winds Assisted Living & Memory Care staff in Mesa, Arizona, didn’t realize Lawrence Bearse was missing until his wife came to visit him on Thursday.

The grandfather had been taken to the doctor by a nursing home employee the previous day, but when they returned to the facility, the employee reportedly forgot about Bearse.

He was left in the vehicle in the facility parking lot for an estimated 20 hours while the weather remained in the 100sF in Mesa, Arizona.

That employee, who has not yet been identified, has been fired, Canyon Winds confirmed in a statement.

The care home also apologized to his family and promised a full investigation into the incident.

“Canyon Winds was shocked and appalled to hear of this tragedy,” the facility said in a statement to Law & Crime. “This incident will not be forgotten. We sincerely apologize to Mr.’s family and friends. Bearse, and while we know there is no way to rectify this situation, we hope we can find a way to ease their pain in the future.”

Granddaughter Kylie Bearse was heartbroken when she received the call from her father about her grandfather’s death.

“He said Grandma passed away, which is immediately sad,” she told WWNYTV. “But then he says, ‘It’s getting worse,’” Kylie said. “They didn’t know he was missing until my grandmother came to see him.”

Canyon Winds Assisted Living & Memory Care staff in Mesa, Arizona, didn't realize Lawrence Bearse was missing until his wife came to visit him on Thursday.

Canyon Winds Assisted Living & Memory Care staff in Mesa, Arizona, didn’t realize Lawrence Bearse was missing until his wife came to visit him on Thursday.

Bearse, who suffered from advanced Alzheimer's, had been a Canyon Winds resident since June 2020 (pictured above)

Bearse, who suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s, had been a Canyon Winds resident since June 2020 (pictured above)

Canyon Winds Assisted Living & Memory Care staff didn't notice Lawrence Bearse (pictured right) missing until his wife of 67 came to visit and he was nowhere to be found

Canyon Winds Assisted Living & Memory Care staff didn’t notice Lawrence Bearse (pictured right) missing until his wife of 67 came to visit and he was nowhere to be found

“This is horrible, and it shouldn’t have happened,” granddaughter Kylie Bearse said WWNYTV. “The amount of anger you feel when you hear that is just – My family, we don’t know how to explain it. We’re all just in shock.’

Bearse suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s and had been a resident of assisted living since June 2020.

Kylie Bearse said her family will remember their patriarch for his service as a US Marine, his golf skills and his unmistakable sense of humor. While they want to focus on these memories, rather than the horrific circumstances of his death, they desperately want answers.

“He lived an incredibly respectful life,” Bearse said. “He should be able to die with some kind of dignity and not be forgotten in the back of a van. So we’re very upset, very angry, and we also have questions like how could this have happened?’

Both the Arizona police and health department are currently investigating the incident.

“Investigators are still working on evidence and interviews about the death of Lawrence Bearse,” Irene Mahoney, a police media relations specialist, of the Mesa Police Department, told MailOnline. “At this point, no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.”

According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse, and an estimated five million older adults are abused each year.

Canyon Winds company representatives were available for comment.

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