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Home where body was found in trash can is elderly care facility with safety violations

11-21 BODY IN TRASH CAN

UPDATE: Police arrested Cristina Noelle Canimo, 32, of Palm Desert early Friday morning at a north La Quinta home where a body was found a day earlier.

Canimo was charged with Felony Murder with Malice, according to jail records. She was booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio and held without bail.

Canimo was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday morning Nov. 26.

As of Thursday evening police hadn't revealed many details on the discovery that morning of a body in a trash can outside a home in the Esplanade gated community, just off Jefferson and Fred Waring.

"It just seems like somebody might have dropped it off and hoped that on Friday, when trash day comes around, nobody would see it," said Joey Cho, who lives in the community.

Neighbors say the home is a residential facility for elderly care.

News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia discovered a home on the same street, East Parkway Esplanade, is licensed as an elderly care facility called Sunbrook Residential Care. He also uncovered new information regarding recent state violations there.

"That makes it a little more devastating because at a care facility, you wouldn't think that something like this would happen," Cho said.

Documents from the Department of Social Services show the home was evaluated on Sept. 17 this year.

During the unannounced inspection, state officials found a person working there with a criminal record. That person was a staff member in 2014, when they were disassociated and removed from the facility's roster.

Records show the facility's administrator, Ramona Sykes, said that employee worked there again this year for two days, which the state deemed an "immediate health and safety risk to the residents in care." The facility was fined $200.

The state also investigated a complaint of traumatic patient injury back in January this year. Officials found that "staff neglect resulted in a resident sustaining a fracture" as a staff member tried to transfer a resident from a sofa to a wheelchair.

The resident suffered multiple skin tears on both arms and a doctor advised them to go to the hospital. The resident wasn't hospitalized, though, until more than 3 days later, when they were diagnosed with a fractured tailbone, requiring its surgical removal – most likely the result of a fall.

The documents show the staff was instructed not to move the resident, but they did. They were fined $500.

News Channel 3 went looking for the administrator, Sykes, at an associated address in La Quinta. We discovered it was another care facility operating under the same name, Sunbrook Residential Care.

In its more than 5 years of operations, the facility has been cited 6 times for "immediate risks to health safety or personal rights of those in care," and twice for potential risks.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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