Elderly woman says her jewelry went missing after ER visit

St. Landry Parish

MELVILLE, La. (KLFY) — An elderly Melville woman says she went to a local hospital’s emergency room, but her jewelry was missing when she was discharged.

“When you’re passed out on the floor you’re not coming to who’s thinking about jewelry. They should have come out after they took it off and asked ‘ is the Arville family here’ or something. ‘Here’s her jewelry’. Nope; didn’t happen,” said Bertha Arville.

The jewelry was sentimental to her because it was her anniversary gift.

“I’ve been married for 45 years; it took me 20 to get it, but it’s just the idea that you know somebody took it; that’s what gets me,” said Arville.

The family claims the value of Arville’s jewelry totaled $3,000.

“It was a diamond pendant gold necklace. It had three diamonds; it started small at the top, and it got bigger as it went down. Then her earring was diamond gold studs,” said Meagan Walters, Arville’s granddaughter.

When the family contacted Our Lady of Lourdes about the missing jewelry they were told they needed to prove she had the jewelry on her.

“Well, I got my letter in the mail saying that they shouldn’t pay me for it because I did not have proof,” said Arville.

They filed a police report with Lafayette Police Department.

Lafayette Police tells us the case is currently suspended due to no leads.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital sent News Ten the following statement Friday afternoon.

Per privacy and regulatory policies I cannot publicly comment on a particular patient incident.

Prior to scheduled admissions to our facilities, we advise patients to come without valuables.  However, there are times when patients present in our ER as unexpected admissions or surgeries. Upon inpatient admission or prior to emergent surgery, patients wearing valuables are asked to remove and provide to a family member.  If a family member is not present, jewelry is to be removed upon patient consent, inventoried in the presence of nurse, patient and security officer.  The valuables are validated by all present and signatures are witnessed as the valuables are visibly put in a sealed envelope. The process is charted, a yellow carbon copy receipt is provided to the patient and security locks in our safe until the patient or designated family member can be documented to receive it again.    

If patients report missing items in our facility, an incident report is filed and an investigation is launched.  Patients can also file a grievance report with our patient advocacy department. The grievance committee investigates concerns or complaints and communicates by phone and/or in writing by mail to address issues.  

Elisabeth Arnold, Sr. Director Marketing & Communication for Our Lady of Lourdes

Arville told us she never gave consent for her jewelry to be removed nor did she sign anything.

“I do remember when I was getting ready to take a CT scan, one of them pulled on my right ear to get the earring out. I thought they were going to pull my ear off trying to get it off,” tells Arville. 

She would like some type of compensation for what she lost.

“I’d like to have my original jewelry back, but I’m sure that’s not going to be possible after this long, but I’d like to be paid for it because somebody ended up with it, and it wasn’t me,” said Arville.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 2-3-2 tips.

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