Woman dies after wandering away from Gaines Twp. center

Crystal Springs facility in Ganes Township
A sign greets visitors to the Crystal Springs facility in Gaines Township. (Oct. 28, 2016)

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An 85-year-old resident of a Gaines Township assisted living center was found dead near the home early Wednesday morning.

No one knows exactly how long Kathryn Brackett wandered outside the Crystal Springs assisted living center, located in the 1100 block of 68th Street SE sometime after 5 a.m. Wednesday. Brackett was last seen inside the facility around midnight.

“Resuscitation efforts were conducted but they were unsuccessful. So our detectives were dispatched to investigate the death,” said Kent County Sheriff’s Detective Joel Roon.

It’s not clear how Brackett was able to walk out of the secured facility.

“And that’s a good question for the home,” Roon said. “Because there is a system in place.”

But it appears that system failed.

According to a source familiar with the operation, patients are supposed to be checked during the night. But in Brackett’s case that apparently didn’t happen after midnight. There are alarms on the doors alerting employees when a door is opened, but those alarms can be shut off.

24 Hour News 8 checked state records on the facility and found this was not their first time in the news. In 2014, 21-year-old Tyler Malone who was a caregiver at the facility was charged with throwing shoes and water at an 86-year-old resident as well as threatening to sexually assault the victim with a stuffed animal. He faced second-degree vulnerable adult abuse and stalking against a patient, and sentenced to one year at the Kent County Correctional Facility.

This week’s case does not appear to be criminal in nature.

“Autopsy reports are still pending. At this point there’s no indication of foul play,” Roon said.

Administrators at the home would not comment. State regulators will only confirm they’re investigating the case.