Ballston Spa An 85-year-old resident of the Maplewood Manor nursing home was found dead on the county-run facility’s grounds on Saturday, Dec. 22.
Authorities said it appears Carlton Decker climbed out of the window of his private room sometime between staff bed checks at 11 p.m. Friday evening and 1 a.m. Saturday morning. He was discovered missing by staff at the 1 a.m. bed check and located after a search of the nursing home’s grounds. He was declared deceased at Saratoga Hospital.
Temperatures were in the high 30s Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
“We’re still investigating the incident,” said Diane Brown, the administrator for Maplewood Manor. “We don’t know if alarms went off or not. When everything is completed, we will have more information to provide.”
Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth, who is on the county Public Health Committee, expressed her concern over the incident.
“This is a huge tragedy and some of us are mortified,” said Southworth. “The question is, what happened? We need to find that out. You want to do everything in your power to make sure nothing like this never, ever happens again.”
Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy met with members of the Village of Ballston Spa Police Department on Monday, Dec. 24. Murphy said Decker had been a resident of Maplewood Manor for several years, and staff had found him in an exterior courtyard near a door.
An autopsy conducted Monday ruled the cause of death as a heart attack, but the official autopsy report and toxicology results are pending. Toxicology results typically take roughly 90 days to be returned.
Authorities originally thought Carlton may have exited his room through his second story window and onto the roof of a first floor wing beneath, but investigators are now following up on a number of different leads. Murphy did not discuss specifics, though.