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Caregiver arrested in murder of man dumped in trash can, facility owners respond


32-year-old Cristina Canimo of Palm Desert is under arrest, accused of murdering a man in the Esplanade community in La Quinta and dumping his body in a trash can Thursday outside the elderly residential care facility Sunbrook Residential Care.

Viewers told News Channel 3 Canimo was a caregiver at Sunbrook. She was taken into custody around 3 a.m. Friday near the home.

State documents uncovered by News Channel 3 detail a history of staff criminality and neglect at the facility, even resulting in traumatic injury to a patient this year.

"There's just no excuse," said Mandy Calvano, owner of Custom Care Solutions, an in-home care agency that screens and places caregivers in facilities like Sunbrook. "There's no excuse for bad behavior and there's no excuse for neglect."

Without prior knowledge of the facility or its hiring practices, she says it appears the state's system failed.

"I think if that person was registered through the Department of Social Services it did fail," Calvano said.

News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia went back to the home Friday and found the owners of Sunbrook Residential Care, Ron and Ramona Sykes.

Citing advice from their legal council, they didn't want to speak on camera.

Calvano said this murder casts a cloud over residential care facilities.

"You just can't make excuses for any type of red flag when it comes to this industry," she said.

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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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