Caregiver Charged After Elderly Woman is Found on Snow Bank

An 88-year-old woman was out in the cold for six-and-a-half hours.

Friday, Feb 22, 2013  |  Updated 2:19 PM EDT
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A West Hartford women was found in the snow with hypothermia after her police say her caregiver lost track her.   Family members tell NBC Connecticut this wasn't the first time this has happened.

A West Hartford women was found in the snow with hypothermia after her police say her caregiver lost track her. Family members tell NBC Connecticut this wasn't the first time this has happened.

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West Hartford police have arrested a West Hartford caregiver after an 88-year-old woman she was responsible for disappeared for hours and was found suffering from hypothermia.

Police said Salomat Nishonova, 59, of Brooklyn, New York, lied to officers about when she last saw Raisa Shnitman, an 88-year-old woman suffering from dementia.

Shnitman's family said this was the second time in 24 hours that Nishonova lost track of her client and they are furious.

According to investigators, Nishonova waited at least two hours before calling the woman’s family to report her missing.

Police responded to the Alfred E. Plant senior housing complex, a West Hartford Housing Authority property at 759 Farmington Ave., just before 6:30 a.m., according to a report from police. 

As they reviewed surveillance footage, they determined that Nishonova had lied to police when cameras showed Shnitman walking away from the Plant Senior Housing Complex, at 759 Farmington Ave., around 3 a.m., according to West Hartford police.

Raisa's grandon, Slava Shnitman, said his family recently hired Nishonova through a local healthcare service to watch his grandmother at her apartment because she has dementia.

Nishonova just started working for them early Wednesday morning.

Police canvassed the area and Officer Steven Morehouse found Shnitman behind 784 Farmington Ave. around 9:30 a.m., six and a half hours after cameras showed she disappeared.

Shnitman, who police said only speaks Russian, had crossed a busy street and was lying on a snow bank and hurt.

“She was barely alive. Another minute or two, or a half hour she would probably be gone,” Slava Shnitman, said.

She was suffering from hypothermia and her hand and foot were cut, according to police. She is in intensive care, according to her family.

“It happened in the middle of the night, so it was kind of a bad nightmare,” Slava Shnitman said.

Nishonova was arrested and charged with one count each of reckless endangerment in the second degree and interfering with an officer.

She appeared in court on Friday and bond was set at $50,000. She was ordered to have no contact with the elderly woman's family or to work in the health care field. She is due back in court on March 14.

Shnitman was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where she is in intensive care.
 

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