WALNUT CREEK -- An autopsy report released Wednesday of an elderly woman who wandered away from her Concord care facility in September showed she died of heat stroke, and now her family is looking to police to help ensure such a situation never happens again.
Yolanda Membreno, 86, was under the care of Julia's Home, a board and care senior facility in Concord, when she wandered out of the home Sept. 30 and was later found dead at a park just over a block away.
Membreno, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and dementia, was otherwise in top physical condition when she died, according to her daughter-in-law Sabrina Sanchez.
"Am I out for vengeance? No," Sanchez said. "I want to make sure that those who are in this type of business have the wherewithal to take care of their patients. I want the police to do their due diligence and really look at this."
Roy Roberto, who runs Julia's Home, said he could not immediately comment on the matter.
Currently, while facility staff are required to contact the state right away when someone leaves and may be in danger, there is no mandate for them to call police.
But attorney Michael Cordoza, who is representing the Sanchez family, said that hopefully will change.
Cordoza said he is looking to the police to move forward with the investigation now that they have the autopsy report and to possibly criminally prosecute those who run the care facility.
"There needs to be something
Gus Sanchez, Membreno's son, said he and his wife had interviewed multiple care facilities before choosing Julia's as the place for Membreno to stay.
"(Seniors) deserve to die with dignity," Gus Sanchez said. "I can only imagine what her thoughts were....Sometimes, it becomes a little bit too much. I was prepared for her pass away. She was already up there at age 86, but the way she passed, it haunts me."
Contact Katie Nelson at 925-945-4780 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.