Two nursing home employees face felony charges after police said they left a 96-year-old resident of Cordia Senior Living on a bus overnight in freezing weather causing her to die of cold exposure.
Bert Mongreig, 63, of the 100 block of East Quincy Street, Westmont, was charged with two counts of criminal neglect of a long-term care resident resulting in death. He was taken into custody at his home Wednesday.
Navdeep Dhall, 43, of the 1800 block of Great Plaines Way, Bolingbrook, was charged with one count of criminal neglect of a long-term care resident resulting in death and one count of criminal neglect of a long-term care resident. Police took Dhall into custody at his home
Prosecutors allege Mongreig drove the woman, who used a wheelchair, to a local hospital for medical attention Feb. 2 and did not make sure she was off the bus when he got back to Cordia Senior Living around 3 p.m. and left the bus in the back parking lot. Mongreig is accused of recording in a logbook that the woman had been brought back inside the nursing home.
Police said temperatures fell to 22 degrees Fahrenheit that night.Dhall, who worked as a resident care manager, is accused of failing to try to find the woman the night of Feb. 2 or the morning of Feb. 3. Police say other staff members began searching for the woman around 10:15 a.m. Feb. 3, before an employee found her unresponsive on the bus around 15 minutes later.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by Westmont Fire Department personnel. The DuPage County Coroner’s Office ruled that the woman’s death was caused by cold exposure due to being trapped in the vehicle.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a news release, “Seniors at long-term care facilities rely on others for their personal safety and day-to-day needs. Today’s charges demonstrate my office’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our most vulnerable. To the victim’s family and friends, I offer my sincerest condolences and wish them strength as they grieve this senseless, tragic loss.”
Mongreig and Dhall are being held in DuPage County Jail on $50,000 bond. Mongreig is set to appear in court again July 23, and Dhall is set to return to court