OR: Former caregiver charged with stealing, withholding care from elderly in Junction City, Eugene and Salem

The Register Guard –

Eight months after her arrest, a former Junction City retirement home caregiver was arraigned on 21 charges, which include allegedly stealing money and intentionally withholding care and medical attention from elderly people in facilities in Junction City, Eugene and Salem.

Noelle Jendraszek pleaded not guilty to all charges on June 14.

Jendraszek, a Harrisburg resident, was arrested in October under suspicion by police of 99 felony charges and 11 misdemeanor charges, which included stealing jewelry, money and drugs from residents of the Junction City Retirement and Assisted Living Facility, according to a news release from Junction City police at the time.

Jendraszek confessed in October to stealing in a notarized affidavit after being arrested, as well as to similar crimes at previous care facilities where she worked, according to police.

When investigators initially interviewed Jendraszek, within hours of the first interview, she gave up about 275 pieces of jewelry she had admitted to stealing from residents in care facilities where she was employed in the past five or six years, police said.

“Jendraszek has also admitted withholding vital and medically necessary medication from 44 vulnerable and elderly residents whom were (in) her care,” police said after her arrest.

There is still an active page from Junction City police with hundreds of photos of stolen jewelry they are asking for help with identifying. The original owners’ friends or relatives can file claims at tinyurl.com/junctioncityjewelry.

Jendraszek wasn’t formally charged until May 10, before being arraigned on June 14 on 21 charges she pleaded not guilty to. The charges filed in Lane County Circuit Court include six counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, two counts each of second-degree and third-degree theft, six counts of tampering with drug records, and five counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Her next court date is Aug. 11. Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow declined to comment on why Jendraszek was not charged more immediately following her arrest in October. The case is now being handled by the Oregon Attorney General’s office, Perlow said.

The office’s communications director Kristina Edmunson also declined to comment on the matter.

“We are not able to comment on a pending case,” she said.

Over the years, Jendraszek has worked at the Junction City facility, River Grove Memory Care in Eugene and six care facilities in Salem: Cedar Village Assisted Living Community, Capital Manor Retirement Community, Four Seasons Residential Care, Gibson Creek by Bonaventure, Prestige Senior Living Orchard Heights, and Redwood Heights Retirement and Assisted Living Community.

In her statement of guilt, Jendraszek said the following, according to police: “I am very apologetic for any harm I have done and/or any sadness I have caused. It is my intent to correct my wrongs and do the right thing by taking responsibility for my actions. I hope someday that all the families and persons I have harmed can find it within themselves to forgive me because I know what I have done is wrong and I am seeking the help I need to recover and become a better person.”

The release said police began investigating Sept. 10, when the son of a resident at Junction City Retirement and Assisted Living reported someone had stolen cash from his father.

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