DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The recent disappearance and death of a 63-year-old dementia patient has sparked an investigation into a local nursing home.

Penny Boddie was found dead after going missing on May 14 from the CareCore at Mary Scott in Dayton, a nursing home that has faced $140 thousand in fines in the past 3 years.

CareCore received numerous complaints from Medicare in past three years, along with complaints filed through the Dayton ombudsman.

Boddie had dementia, and she was reportedly checked out by another patient with dementia, which led to her disappearance and death.

Following the death of Boddie, an investigation is in the works by the Dayton ombudsman.

While the ombudsman does not fine nursing homes, they do go in and identify problems and offer help after they receive complaints from the public about facilities.

The Dayton ombudsman has been seeing around 85 complaints a month this year in relation to long term care, with some of those calls coming in about Mary Scott.

Chip Wilkins, the Dayton ombudsman long-term care director, said that in Boddie’s case, the nursing home reported that she went out for a smoke break and never returned.

Boddie had dementia and left the facility with another resident that also had dementia.

Wilkins says many workers don’t realize the simple yet important role they have, especially in situations like this.

“You know, it’s so important for nursing home employees to know their job is incredibly important and that even simple descriptions of their job, like counting residents off when they go out and come back, can mean the difference between life and death,” Wilkins said.

In July 2022, Mary Scott received its latest health inspection, showing 20 citations, which is nearly double the average in Ohio.

Wilkins said long term health care will likely continue to suffer until a bigger issue is solved.

“Until we get a handle on what I would say is a staffing crisis, we’re not going to see those numbers go back down until you have enough people in the facility working to care for the residents that are there,” he said.

2 NEWS reached out to Mary Scott’s CareCore, but the nursing home has declined to comment at this time.