Authorities have arrested a Georgia woman after they say she left another Georgia woman under her care at an Alabama hospital.
Three years ago, staff at St. Vincent's East noticed a woman at the hospital. She had nothing with her and was wearing a hospital gown and an adult diaper. Blount County DA Pamela Casey says that the woman's hair had been recently cut and died, perhaps in an effort to change her appearance.
The woman was unable to communicate who she was, so staff cared for her and Jane "Sally" Doe was soon transferred to The Olive Home Inc. in Blount County.
Investigators with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and Sally's caregivers never stopped their efforts to determine who Sally was. Thanks to renewed interest in the case, authorities believe they have the person responsible for Sally's abandonment as well as Sally's true identity.
Cathy Thomas of Douglasville, Ga. is now in custody at the Blount County Jail. She is charged with stealing the identity of Edith Allen, also of Douglasville, Ga., the woman called Jane "Sally" Doe for the past three years.
Casey says that about a month ago, an article circulated on Facebook about Allen. A tip was called in that lead authorities to Thomas. Casey says that records show Thomas took around $25,000 in Social Security money meant for Allen and "spent it on goods and services in her own name."
Authorities add that they were able to confirm Allen's identity from medical records and the way she writes and "E," which matched past signatures.
As a result of this case, Casey is now working to change the laws in Alabama to make sure people with mental health issues are protected and to ensure a similar situation doesn't occur.
Casey says there is no current way to identify people with intellectual disabilities should they become lost. She says she will work with legislators during the upcoming session to enact what she's calling Edith's Law.
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