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Man Wanted For Taking Woman From Newton Assisted Living Facility

NEWTON (CBS) – The search continues for a Newton woman who was driven away from an assisted living care facility where she was being treated.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 55-year-old David Collignon who his brother says took her out of CareOne in Newton because she was desperate to leave.

"There were problems with care at the facility, drugs administered that she didn't want. She basically wanted to get out and leave," said Ross Collignon.

On Tuesday there was an air and ground search for the pair described as lifelong friends, and two Newton detectives were seen going into Birnbaum's Newton home with a healthcare worker.

Birnbaum Collignon
David Collignon and Beth Birnbaum (WBZ-TV)

Birnbaum suffered a brain aneurism and stroke earlier in the year.

"They saw Mr. Collignon remove her clothing and was told by them not leave. They later found her wheelchair and she wasn't in it, so they contacted us," said Newton police Lt. Bruce Apotheker.

Police say she wasn't allowed to check herself out and there is concern she is not receiving the medical attention she needs.

"We're told that if she doesn't get some of the medication and some of the medical services that she needs that it could be dire," Apotheker said.

The two are believed to be in a gray Honda Fit with license plate 774-YR1 with Massachusetts registration.

Collignon's brother Ross told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Wednesday he was with them when they left the facility Tuesday. He wants his brother to call police to let them know they're alright.

Collignon plate
(WBZ-TV graphic)


"I dropped them at their car two streets away," Ross Colligan said. "For the few minutes I saw her, she recognized me off the bat, gave me a hug and just said, 'Thank you for getting me out of there.'"

"I kind of assumed they were going over to Beth's house, but as of now, I wish I knew where they were going and I wish they would call me," he told WBZ. "He would give up his life before he would assault Beth."

David Collignon had been living in Birnbaum's house in Newton last few months as a caretaker, according to his brother, and he had been at the Newton facility "every day" to take care of Birnbaum and work with her on her rehabilitation.

"We tried everything to get her out of there so she can rehabilitate," Ross said.


CareOne at Newton released a statement late Wednesday morning saying it is "working closely" with police to find Birnbaum.

"Due to the Center's obligations under patient privacy laws, the Center is prohibited from sharing any protected health information about Ms. Birnbaum," the statement read.  "As a result, the Center cannot discuss the status of this resident, or any other under our care, and thus will not provide additional information in responses to media inquiries at this time."

care one at newton

Ross Collignon claims his brother has medications, medical supplies and everything Birnbaum needs, even a new wheelchair. He insists her mind is intact.

"They saw her neurosurgeon at Mass General two weeks ago and he was shocked that they hadn't taken out the feeding tube yet. He was shocked that she was still in the facility and not at her home," Ross said.

Anyone with information should contact Newton Police at (617) 796-2100.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karen Twomey reports

WBZ-TV's Beth Germano contributed to this report.


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