State worker, caregiver charged with covering up disabled man's death

- A state worker is facing charges for concealing a man's death in Ypsilanti, and being investigated for fraud after a man died in her care.

The family of deceased 64-year-old Everette Thompson says after hearing of his death, they are shocked to hear it could have been prevented.

"We can't believe it. We're just heartbroken and extremely upset," said Francis Thompson, sister in law of the victim. 

"I just feel so bad about my brother," said Wellington Thompson, brother of the victim, adding he had no idea anything was going on and that he stayed in touch with the caregiver.

The brother and sister-in-law of Everette Thompson who live out of state say, Thompson was mentally ill and staying in an adult group home on Monroe Street in Ypsilanti. 

Annie Walls, 57, works for the state and was his caregiver. But Ypsilanti police say Sunday afternoon Walls, called 911 from another group home on Madison she says, after discovering Thompson unresponsive lying on a bed.

"She told us nothing about the fact of him being ill, not feeling well." Francis said.

But upon further investigation, police say they believe it was Thompson's roommates who discovered him, lying on the floor of his bedroom. 

Police then say, Walls moved Thompson's body to the other group home on Madison. They believe Thompson actually died sometime between Saturday and Sunday. 

Walls is charged with concealing the death of an individual and failing to report the discovery of a dead body. But police say she could also be charged with fraud.

"I don't understand what was going through her mind," Francis said. "Why would she attempt that."

Neighbors describe those who lived at each home as very pleasant people. Thompson's family says he was a quiet, gentle man and wish they knew his health had been failing.

"We just talked to her a week before and she said nothing," Francis said. "We could (have come)."

"When somebody is in your hands you are supposed to take care of them," neighbor Lee Tooson said. "That is all there is to it."

Now, while police say they don't suspect foul play in Thompson's death, autopsy results won't be available for some time. Thompson's family is just wishing they had a chance to say goodbye.

"Anyone who has their family member in a group home of any kind," Francis said. "You just have to be extremely careful."

Walls is expected to be arraigned on those charges Wednesday but police are working to file additional charges.

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