Fla. nursing home hurricane deaths ruled homicides

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is seen in Hollywood, north of Miami, on Sept. 13, 2017

Reuters

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Authorities say the deaths of 12 of the 14 Florida nursing home patients who died after Hurricane Irma have been ruled homicides.

The Sun Sentinel reports that autopsy results from the Broward County medical examiner's office were released Wednesday.

No arrests have been made. Police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said the investigation would continue and part of that will be determining who should be charged.

"We don't have a timeline of when there would be charges at this point," Grossman told the Sun Sentinel.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills lost its air conditioner on Sept. 10, shortly after Irma slammed into Florida.

On Sept. 13, eight residents died and the others were evacuated from the sweltering facility. Six more died over the following weeks, though two deaths were found to not be related to the lack of power or air conditioning.

Erika Navarro, whose grandmother and grandfather were among those killed by the stifling heat at the facility, told the Sun Sentinel on Wednesday that she wants to see someone punished for the deaths.

"The next steps are the more important ones: Who is going to be held accountable? Are they going to go to jail? Are they just going to get a free pass and just pay money, and nothing else happens?" she told the newspaper. "To me, that's more important, that people are held accountable and they actually go to jail."