After nurse's slaying, home health workers call for increased protections

Visiting nurses in Connecticut are calling for increased state and federal protections for home healthcare workers following the homicide of Joyce Grayson, 63, of Willimantic, Conn., NBC Connecticut reported Nov. 28.

Ms. Grayson was a home care nurse for Elara Caring, a Dallas-based home health service agency. She disappeared after visiting one of her patients in late October. Her body was later discovered in the basement of the residence where the patient-turned-suspect lived — a halfway house for convicted sex offenders.

The suspect, Michael Reese, a 38-year-old male, was arrested on charges unrelated to her death. Court records show in 2006 he was charged with sexual assault charges and pled nolo contendere — a plea in a criminal prosecution case where the defendant accepts conviction like when entering a guilty plea, but does not equate to the admission of guilt.

"Something needs to change…," Laura Crean, a former coworker of Ms. Grayson, told NBC Connecticut. "It's terrifying some days to go into places nurses have concerns, including going into homes alone."

State Senator Matt Lesser, D-Conn., spoke at a vigil for Ms. Grayson, stating: "Joyce was not the first visiting nurse in this country to be the recipient of an awful, despicable act of violence. My hope is — at least in this state —  working together if we put our minds to it, if we set that goal, I hope that she will be the last."

At this time, though, Mr. Reese has not been charged with the homicide.

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