La. Attorney General Seeking Nursing Home Owners

September 12, 2005

Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr. announced his office has launched an investigation into the deaths of 32 nursing home residents of St. Rita’s Nursing Home in St. Bernard parish in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Investigators want to speak with the owners and/or administrators of St. Rita’s to find out why the residents were unable to get help.

An estimated 32 people drowned in the rising flood waters that engulfed the residential care facility.

“This is a horrific tragedy and this story is one of the worst that I have heard. I am deeply saddened to learn of the fate of so many elderly citizens. I will investigate this case fully as well as others across the state,” said Attorney General Foti. “I want answers. I want to know why those people were trapped and were not evacuated,” Foti added.

Investigators are asking anyone with information regarding the location of Melba Mangano or Salvador Mangano to contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at (888) 799-6885. Investigators are also interested in questioning any family members, witnesses or employees who may have helpful information.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) is also currently visiting nursing homes throughout the state to check the health and medical status of displaced residents.

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