Stillwater Woman Accused Of Stealing Medication From Dying Patient
STILLWATER - A Stillwater woman is accused of depriving a dying woman of her pain medication.
Investigators said Danelle Lee was working as a caretaker when she stole morphine and pain pills from at least two elderly patients, one of whom later died.
During an undercover drug buy at an apartment complex, Stillwater police said Lee attempted to sell an informant two syringes of morphine for $40.
When police swooped in, Lee admitted to stealing from her employer.
While working as a caretaker at Brookdale, an assisted living center in Stillwater, reports allege between May 23 and May 27, Lee stole prescribed medication from at least two of her patients.
Lee told police on one occasion the floor got busy and she forgot to administer the medication, so she just kept it and decided to “sell it for extra money."
On another occasion, Lee told police she failed to give medication to another patient because they were "asleep."
Police said one of the victims was dying of cancer and required morphine injections to keep her comfortable.
Days after the alleged theft, police learned that patient died.
Doctors told investigators while they didn't believe the missed morphine dosages contributed to the patient's death, it did cause the patient to feel pain and discomfort.
Logs show Lee falsified documents, showing she administered the medicine and documented the patient's level of pain.
In light of the arrest and allegations, News 9 asked Brookdale if they planned on changing how medication would be logged and administered. While they did not respond to direct questioning, in a statement they said in part:
“We take these situations very seriously as the safety of our residents is our top priority. Our company has strict standards in place, including background checks, compliance with state rules and regulations, and ongoing training for employees..."
Lee was terminated immediately. Police arrested her boyfriend for intoxication.