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Woman accused of theft, attempted to discharge relative against advice from Longmont hospital – Longmont Times-Call

A 55-year-old woman was arrested for reportedly stealing from a relative and attempting to discharge him from a Longmont hospital against doctors’ advice after he suffered serious bodily injuries in January.

Lora Dina Gonzales was charged with neglect of a caregiver, criminal negligence causing great bodily harm, false imprisonment of a vulnerable person, criminal exploitation ($500 or more), and theft from a vulnerable person ($500 or more).

Lora Dina Gonzales (courtesy of Boulder County Sheriff's Office)
Lora Dina Gonzales (courtesy of Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

Gonzales is scheduled to have a status conference on July 25 at 1:30 p.m., and he was released on $1,000 bail, according to court records.

According to an affidavit, officers were called to a trespassing incident at Longs Peak Hospital, 1750 East Ken Pratt Blvd., on Jan. 31.

Hospital staff reported that a patient’s guest was interfering with patient care and refusing to leave the hospital. Upon arrival, officers were informed by security personnel that Gonzales claimed to have medical power of attorney over her relative but had not provided any documents to the hospital to prove it, the affidavit states.

When police contacted Gonzales, she told them she wanted her relative released from the hospital and said the hospital wanted to deport her because she had “made her demands very clear that they stop giving him the medication.”

A nurse told police her relative was admitted to the emergency room at Longs Peak Hospital on January 29 because of an illness. If he did not receive antibiotics soon, “he would develop sepsis and likely die of organ failure.”

The illness was redacted in the affidavit.

The nurse also told officials that Gonzales’ relative might need surgery because the infection may have already spread to the bone.

According to the affidavit, Gonzales initially agreed to her relatives’ treatment, but the longer she was there, “the more her condition worsened.”

The nurse told police Gonzales had tampered with her relative’s IV machine and claimed they were going to poison her son. Gonzales eventually told nurses she wanted to discharge her relative so she could take him to Denver Health.

The nurse also learned from the hospital social worker that the relative had previously been offered long-term care, but Gonzales had refused and had removed him from other care facilities on several occasions, the affidavit states.

On April 29, a doctor filed a statement of aggravated assault, stating that the injury posed a significant risk of death and permanent disfigurement and that “the infection may be untreatable and become systemic and life-threatening, and that the wound would likely not heal to normal tissue.”

When officials asked Gonzales to provide a medical power of attorney to prove she was her relative’s caregiver, she subsequently provided documents dated July 20, 2022, and January 2, 2024. However, the documents were contingent on the relative’s ability to make informed decisions.

Officials then filled out medical information release forms that had to be signed by the relative, and when Gonzales was no longer able to make medical decisions for him, Longs Peak Hospital requested her removal from the facility because she had gained unauthorized access to the building, the affidavit states.

Police later learned that Lora and her relatives had been homeless and living in their car since September 17, 2023.

According to the affidavit, Gonzales “further aggravated the injury by living in the car and not allowing him to leave the car as often as would have been reasonable and necessary.”

In addition, police found that Gonzales had stated that she had no other income other than welfare payments from her relatives and admitted to using those funds to pay for gas and groceries for herself.

Gonzales continued to withdraw these funds even after she was no longer in her care and did not make them available to the facility that cared for him, the affidavit states.