Caregiver Caught On Video Allegedly Abusing Disabled Boy Wuschel-2307/ Pixabay

A female caretaker in North Carolina was arrested on Monday by officers from the High Point Police department for the death of a 21-year-old patient with cerebral palsy. Briea Askew, 29, is facing second-degree murder charges after allegedly leaving her still unnamed female patient in a hot car for several hours earlier this month.

According to PEOPLE, Askew, who resides in Greensboro, is currently held in custody at the Guilford County Jail on a $200,000 secured bond.

In a press release by the High Point Police, at around 2:30pm on Aug. 10, officers responded to a call from Wake Forest Baptist High Point Hospital regarding a death investigation.

Police said the patient was taken to the hospital suffering from an extremely elevated body temperature of over 110 degrees. A short time later, the victim was pronounced dead. The High Point Police Department Special Victims Unit launched an extensive investigation to look into the circumstances that led to the patient’s untimely death.

Detectives determined that the patient was in the care of Askew at the time and was left unattended inside a parked vehicle for about 5 hours without a running air conditioner. The statement indicated that "excessive heat and humidity contributed to the woman’s death.

Meanwhile, it is unclear if Askew has entered a plea at this time and no other information has been released about the victim's identity or her family.

Similar tragic incidents involving caretakers is nothing new. In 2020, a man in Florida with Down Syndrome also died in a hot car after his caregiver had fallen asleep upon taking an herbal supplement called kratom.

Joshua Russell, 26, was charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter for the death of 35-year-old John LaPointe on May 9. The victim was said to be non-verbal and had the cognitive ability of a 1-year-old child.

According to a police news release, Russell was supposed to take LaPointe to a doctor using his group home van. After leaving the doctor’s clinic, Russell stopped at his house to get the supplement. Once in the van, Russell felt sick and went back to his house and parked the van in the driveway then dozed off in the driver’s seat while LaPointe was still strapped in the back seat.

Kratom is an opioid-like drug that comes in powders and capsules claiming to help ease pain, anxiety and drug dependence. It causes euphoric effects and has the potential for addiction and abuse.

After about 3 hours, Russell woke up and noticed LaPointe was unresponsive and attempted to perform CPR. Desperate Russel called to meet up with his mother prompting her to lodge a 911 call. He was not at the scene when medical assistance arrived at the location where he had asked to meet his mother.

Russel was found nearby with a gun threatening to kill himself. Police eventually were able to subdue him and he was taken into custody at the Pinellas County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

An autopsy revealed that LaPointe's cause of death was due to overheating.

Representation Image Paraplegic Patient In Wheelchair stevepb/ Pixabay