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State inspection finds employee with criminal record at senior home where body was found 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.

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.

News Channel 3 looked further into our investigation and found in Social Services documents filed in March of 2018 showed Ramona Sykes was also listed as "Desert Care RCFE" facility's administrator.

We made multiple efforts to contact the administrators of the home including going to other homes that are also facilities.

Late this afternoon, we heard from Ramona Sykes who said she and her husband also listed on the licenses would not be able to comment at this time.

Dani Romero


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