East Penn Press

Sunday, December 16, 2018
PRESS PHOTOS BY DEBBIE GALBRAITHA sign welcomes visitors to Woodland Terrace at the Oaks at 1263 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Salisbury Township. PRESS PHOTOS BY DEBBIE GALBRAITHA sign welcomes visitors to Woodland Terrace at the Oaks at 1263 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Salisbury Township.
Audrey Penn supposedly walks out of the front door of Woodland Terrace at the Oaks during the early morning hours of Aug. 23. Audrey Penn supposedly walks out of the front door of Woodland Terrace at the Oaks during the early morning hours of Aug. 23.

Questions go unanswered in the case of Audrey Penn

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Debbie Galbraith dgalbraith@tnonline.com in Local News

The family of Audrey Penn has many unanswered questions regarding the death of their relative after she was reported missing from Woodland Terrace at the Oaks, a senior living and memory care facility in Salisbury Township.

According to the Woodland Terrace at the Oaks website, the “secured memory care residence provides an atmosphere that is relaxing, comfortable and safe.”

Which is exactly what Penn’s children were looking for when searching for a facility for their mother.

Attorney Robert L. Sachs Jr., Shrager, Spivey & Sachs, has been retained by the family to get some answers.

“To date, the family has not received any explanation as to how Penn was able to get out of her ‘safe and secured’ residence,” Sachs said.

In fact, the family has many questions.

The events of that early morning are still somewhat unclear.

In an interview with the family Sept. 23, Penn’s daughter LaFond McRae and son Karl Kent said Penn was seen 2:30 a.m. Aug. 23 sitting by the door on the first floor of Woodland Terrace at the Oaks. A nurse’s aide told the nurse she put Penn to bed at 3:30 a.m. Aug. 23. This is the last time she was seen. Sometime after 5 a.m. Aug. 23, Penn was discovered missing.

The family would like to know why it took three hours for the facility to call the Salisbury Township Police Department and the family.

The family was told the nurse’s aide starting looking for Penn in other rooms and then told the nurse who also began searching. The maintenance man was informed of the disappearance at 7 a.m. and hospitals were called before the police and Kent at 8:30 a.m.

“We believe a nurse left the unit to take the elevator to the next floor. There was a 15-second delay on the door and the elevator is right outside the door,” McRae said.

“We also believe the alarm to the front door was turned off when an ambulance came to transport a patient earlier and was never turned back on.” The family was told the ambulance company said no one escorted ambulance personnel out of the building.

The question remains how Penn got from the Cedar Crest location to the area of the former Charcoal Diner, now the Bieber Bus terminal in Lower Macungie. Her body was discovered Sept. 17.

Although Penn was a walker, her family said she was scared of the dark and they wonder if someone gave her a ride to the bus station. If so, they are hoping that person would come forward to provide some closure for the family.

After researching the facility, Sachs discovered Woodland Terrace at the Oaks’ license “was revoked on May 9, 2017, and replaced with a provisional license” but this fact was never communicated to Kent, who had power of attorney for his mother.

“I would have probably pulled her out and gone to another place,” Kent said, after learning about the provisional license from his attorney.

“I would have had lots of questions,” McRae said.