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Missing Woman: Mouy Tang - NC - 09/03/2008


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#1 Denise

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 02:33 PM

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Resident missing from troubled assisted living facility

September 4, 2008 - 9:18AM
Graham Cawthon

LAWNDALE - It's been two years since Kelly "Buck" Whitesides disappeared from Unique Living, an assisted living facility he called home for only a week.

Eight days after he was reported missing, Whitesides, 59, a diabetic with a history of strokes and heart problems, was found dead less than 300 yards from the facility.

History appeared to be repeating itself Wednesday when another Unique Living resident vanished.

Officials set up shop in the parking lot of Burns High School - less than two miles from the assisted living facility - Wednesday evening and canvassed the 1.7 mile stretch between the two buildings.

It was in there, according to Cleveland County Assistant Fire Marshal Perry Davis, that they hoped to find Tang Mouy, 46.

With a N.C. Highway Patrol helicopter flying overhead, Lawndale and Fallston firemen, the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office and K-9 division and the fire marshal's office took part in the search for the native of Cambodia.

According to the missing person's report, Mouy was last seen around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday after refusing to take her medication. A short time later, the report read, a teacher at Burns High called and asked if they were missing an Asian resident. A staff member was sent to the student parking lot, where Mouy was last seen, but could not find her.

"Mr. (Gregory) Oates (supervisor at Unique Living) stated that Ms. Mouy was capable of living a normal life," read the report by Deputy J.M. Bradley. "He stated she did have an illness but managed it well."

The report read that Oates expected Mouy to return on her own. But, 12 hours after she was reported missing, the search continued.

Calls were made Wednesday to the facility but there was no answer.

Unique Living came under fire in recent years for its sanitation rating and violations that the Cleveland County Department of Social Services claim played a part in Whitesides' death.

Just a month after Whitesides' death in August 2006, another resident, Kenneth John Charles, didn't return to the facility after signing himself out. Though Charles was later found safe, Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Danny Gordon told The Star at that time that Unique Living didn't report Charles missing until the following evening.

In July, Unique Living was inspected by a survey team from the state. DSS Director John Wasson said they issued several citations.

"The place needs to be stabilized," he said.


#2 Denise

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 02:35 PM

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Search continues for missing Unique Living resident

Thursday, Sep 4 2008, 1:09 pm
Graham Cawthon
Updated 5:32 p.m.:

LAWNDALE - There was no answer at Unique Living Thursday, one day after a 46-year-old resident was reported missing from the assisted living facility on Philadelphia Road.

Detectives with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office and SBI investigators went door to door Thursday, according to Cleveland County Emergency Management Director Dewey Cook, searching for any lead that could point them in the direction of Tang Mouy, a native of Cambodia who was reported missing Wednesday morning.

Cook said the initial search Wednesday night turned up nothing. A K-9 search with the Department of Correction failed to pick up her scent and a N.C. Highway Patrol helicopter, fitted with heat seeking equipment, could not locate her among the woods near Unique Living.

Mouy was last seen in the student parking lot at Burns High around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday. The school is located within two miles of Unique Living.

Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Capt. Alan Norman said the agency has received several calls from Unique Living, in attempts to find missing residents, but the call volume has recently decreased.
"It's had its fair share (in the past)," Norman said. "It's really subsided with the help of DSS having the home under special scrutiny."

As The Star detailed in Thursday's paper, Unique Living has drawn criticism from the county DSS and state dating back to 2000, when it was known as Yelton's Health Care Inc. The facility has come under fire for low sanitation scores, residents dying in its care, residents missing from the facility and taking patients with significant criminal histories.

On Aug. 18, The Star previously reported, DSS received an optimistic report about upgrades at the facility.
Thursday afternoon, The N.C. Center for Missing Persons issued a statewide silver alert for Mouy.
"Citizens are asked to be on the look out for (Mouy), who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment," the alert read.

In the missing person's report filed by the sheriff's office, Deputy J.M. Bradley wrote, "Mr. (Gregory) Oates (Unique Living supervisor) stated Mrs. Mouy was able to function well on her own and had rights to sign herself in and out at Unique Living but did not sign out this morning."

"Mr. Oates stated that Ms. Mouy was capable of living a normal life," the report read. "He stated she did have an illness but managed it well."


Name: Tang T. Mouy
Age: 46
Height: 5 foot 4 inches
Weight: 128 lbs.
Hair: Black, medium length
Eyes: Brown
Distinguishing marks: Birthmark under left eye
Last seen: Burns High School, 307 E Stagecoach Trail, Lawndale
Last seen wearing: White shirt, beige capris
If you have any information regarding her disappearance, call Sgt. Bryan Gordon with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822.

Updated 1:35 p.m.:

A video from yesterday's search has been posted along with a locator map of Mouy's last known sighting.

Updated 1:29 p.m.:

Detectives and SBI are going door to door in the area compiling information, according to Cleveland County Emergency Management Director Dewey Cook.

Cook said a K-9 search from the Department of Correction yesterday could not pick up Mouy's scent and a helicopter with heat seeking equipment could not locate her in the woods surrounding the area. The search lasted until 10:30 last night, he said.

The search for the missing Unique Living resident continues today, according to Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Capt. Alan Norman.

Norman said those with the sheriff's office were spending the day patrolling the area and conducting interviews to find out where Tang Mouy, 46, could be heading.

He said the sheriff's office has received "it's fair share" of calls from Unique Living, pertaining to residents that walked off, but that call volume has decreased.

"It's had its fair share (in the past)," he said. "It's really subsided with the help of DSS having the home under special scrutiny."

#3 Denise

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 02:36 PM

http://www.wsoctv.co...613/detail.html

Woman Missing From Troubled Cleveland County Assisted Living Home

POSTED: 5:04 pm EDT September 4, 2008
UPDATED: 6:10 pm EDT September 4, 2008

FALLSTON, N.C. -- Thursday afternoon, the Cleveland County town of Fallston was filled with searchers in thick grass, frustrated neighbors and disappointed social workers. Sadly, said those involved, this is a cycle that has played out before.

The deputy director of the Cleveland County Department of Social Services gave stern warning Thursday afternoon about the troubled Unique Living Assisted Living Center. Karen Ellis said, "It will continue to be an accident, after another accident, after another accident or a fatality."

Her words came after a search team began combing the wooded area around the center searching for 46-year-old Mouy Tang, a mentally handicapped woman with diabetes. She checked herself out of the center Wednesday morning and hasn't been seen since.

Tang is third person in two years to disappear after walking away. Two years ago, the body of Kelly Whiteside was found about a football field's length away from the facility. In the same year, another man walked out, hitched a ride and was discovered in Maggie Valley, 100 miles away.

Clients are allowed to walk away from the adult care facility. That's the problem, Ellis said.

"They function like a mini mental hospital, and they are not equipped to do so," she said.

The DSS has asked the state to change Unique's license to make it a mental health facility. Regulations for a mental facility would keep patients from leaving while unattended. Ellis said the state needs to step in now.

"Act on this problem or we are going to have more fatalities," she said.

A spokesman for the state Health Services Division said it would take some time to research data to find answers about what actions the state would or could take with Unique Living. He showed Eyewitness News a 30-page copy of a site visit in July. The state found missing handrails, but apparently not enough violations to shut the home down.

"It's not about shutting them down," said neighbor Donald Schenck. "It's about control. This is a good example. Apparently (those who run the facility) don't have control.

"If (the residents) are there because they have problems and need supervision, then why are they allowed to leave without supervision?" he asked.

Neighbor Elijah Clark said the facility has been a problem for residents since it was erected in the 1970s.

"Instead of getting better, it seems like it's getting worse," Clark said.

The neighbors said they were both hoping that the new owners of the facility would make improvements, but this latest disappearance has them concerned again.

Operators at Unique Living said they had no comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, searchers said Tang hasn't been seen since 8 a.m. Wednesday. They said it's possible someone picked her up and drove off.

DSS officials said Tang doesn't speak much English and her mental limitations will make it hard to explain to her that she needs an insulin shot.

#4 Denise

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 02:37 PM

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Unique Living resident still missing

Friday, Sep 5 2008, 6:52 pm
Graham Cawthon

LAWNDALE - Investigators need your help in finding a woman who walked off from an assisted living center Wednesday.

Tang T. Mouy, 46, was last seen in the student parking lot of Burns High Wednesday morning, less than two miles from the Unique Living assisted living facility she called home.

A search was conducted in the area Wednesday evening but there was no sign of Mouy, who reportedly suffers from dementia.

Those with any information regarding her disappearance should call Sgt. Bryan Gordon with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822.

Name: Tang T. Mouy
Age: 46
Height: 5 foot 4 inches
Weight: 128 lbs.
Hair: Black, medium length
Eyes: Brown
Distinguishing marks: Birthmark under left eye
Last seen: Burns High School, 307 E Stagecoach Trail, Lawndale
Last seen wearing: White shirt, beige capris

#5 Denise

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 02:39 PM

http://www.shelbysta...case_woman.html

Investigators turn to public for leads in missing woman case

Monday, Sep 8 2008, 5:33 pm
Cherish Wilson

LAWNDALE - Since Mouy Tang went missing from Unique Living Sept. 3, there's been little to no trace of her.

"It was like she just vanished," said Dewey Cook with Cleveland County Emergency Management. "Within an hour she was between (Burns High School) and that intersection and gone. We're talking 150 or 200 yards. In that distance ... gone."

Cook said if there was any reason to believe Tang was in the surrounding wooded areas, there would be a timeframe when the search would shift from looking for Tang to looking for her body. But with no evidence to suggest she was in the woods, the search continues.

"It's in investigative mode now," Cook said. "We're waiting for more leads."

It's a lot of what ifs for searchers and investigators.

"Lot's of unknowns," Cook said. "Did she get in a car with an acquaintance and is safe and comfy somewhere? Or did she get in a car with someone who meant to do her harm and she's been set out somewhere?"

The case has what Cook calls a high R.O.W, or rest-of-the-world factor.

"She could be anywhere," Cook said. "And as we understand it, it isn't her first time going missing. She's turned up in Rutherford County and the Chimney Rock area before."

For those who have been on the lookout for Tang, as time passes, worry grows.

"My hope is she got in car with an acquaintance and is somewhere doing fine both physically and medically," said Capt. Alan Norman with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office. "But the longer she's gone, it becomes a gray area if she could be doing fine."

Name: Mouy T. Tang
Age: 46
Height: 5 foot 4
Weight: 128 pounds
Hair: Black, medium length
Eyes: Brown
Distinguishing marks: Birthmark under left eye
Last seen: Burns High School, 307 E Stagecoach Trail, Lawndale
Last seen wearing: White shirt, beige capris
If you have any information regarding her disappearance, call Sgt. Bryan Gordon with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822.

#6 Denise

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 04:52 PM

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Missing woman case brings to light other problems at Unique Living

Tuesday, Sep 9 2008, 4:14 pm
David Allen

SHELBY - Quyhn Tang has made the choice to wait by her phone, both hopeful and unsure of her sister-in-law's whereabouts.

"It's heartbreaking," she quietly said of Mouy Tang, who disappeared between Lawndale and Fallston last week. "Very stressful. We're praying that someone out there is caring enough to bring her home."

Mouy, a native of Cambodia and Unique Living resident, wandered from the oft-criticized adult-care home Sept. 3, following at least two other residents who disappeared in 2006.

A representative at Unique Living Tuesday declined to comment on Mouy's disappearance.

It's the type of issue Cleveland County Department of Social Services officials have been warning about for months.

Back in June, the county DSS sent a letter to the state, specifically to Department of Health Service Regulation Adult Care Licensure Section Chief Barbara Ryan, in reference to Unique Living, noting potential dangers the facility presented.

The state's official response, or lack thereof, recently prompted the county DSS board to consider drafting a new letter to Dempsey Benton, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

"There was no official response to my letter," DSS Director John Wasson said. "They did send teams out ... at least they didn't ignore it totally."

Neither Ryan nor DHSR Acting Director Jeff Horton was available for comment Tuesday.

The Star reported in July that teams from the DHSR were brought in to Unique Living to inspect the facility.
Several citations were given, Wasson said, including problems involving faulty door alarms and dangerously hot water.

The facility was directed to correct the issues by Aug. 29, said Tom Ensley, adult services supervisor.

Problems remained when officials went back to follow up on Sept. 3, the day Tang went missing.

But less than a week before, a DHSR construction section inspector said the deficiencies had been addressed.

"He stated that all the areas that he had cited as deficiencies had been corrected," Ensley said. "However, when we made our visit last week and walked through that facility, we noted a number of items that were on this list of deficiencies that were still not corrected."

Problems found
County DSS officials said the sanitation level, which was cited as a deficiency, remains below standards.

There's a door in the facility leading outside that, no matter the effort, cannot be shut properly. Dresser drawers were found missing or broken. The list goes on.

But the door alarms worried Ensley the most.

"They weren't repaired; they still aren't repaired," he said.

State officials would probably cite Unique Living with "Type A" violations, Ensley said, where "direct harm has occurred" because of uncorrected problems.

Jim Jones, a DHSR spokesman, said the state agency is still investigating the situation in light of Tang's disappearance.

Search continues
Though Tang has been missing a week, officials and Tang's family haven't given up hope.

Searches continued Tuesday morning, DSS Social Work Program Manager Teala McSwain said. Officials scoured underpasses, combed woods.

Nothing.

And as days pass with little to no leads, optimism fades.

"Unless something good has happened or there's a miracle, we may be looking at another death there," McSwain said.

There have been several parties actively pursuing Tang's disappearance, she said.

"Her family has been active with her and been in contact with us and with the facility and police and emergency management since this event has happened," McSwain said. "Our law enforcement and emergency management have spent countless hours, day and night, since this has happened."

Since 1985, three other Unique Living residents have died because of accidents or disappearances - a "sacrifice of our poor system in some ways," McSwain said.

In 2006, resident Kelly "Buck" Whitesides was found dead less than 1,000 feet from the home six days after going missing. One resident was previously scalded to death and another choked on a sandwich.

"How many people are going to wander away?" Quyhn Tang asked. "This is preventable."

#7 Denise

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 04:53 PM

http://www.shelbysta...ife_unique.html

GPS system pondered for missing patients

Wednesday, Sep 10 2008, 6:04 pm
David Allen

A long night of hunting draws to a close. Suddenly, your hound disappears into the woods - its bark becoming faint.

Luckily, the pooch is equipped with a GPS tracking system. A handheld device allows you to find him or her within minutes.

It can work on dogs, so why not missing residents, County Commissioner Johnny Hutchins asked.

"If it only takes a little money I'm willing to fight for it," Hutchins said, "especially when it comes to lives. Life is precious, new life or old life."

Hutchins recently discussed his idea with N.C. Rep. Debbie Clary and Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Danny Gordon. The premise is simple: strap a non-intrusive accessory to area residents with mental disorders - like some of those at Unique Living - and ideally prevent dangerous outcomes if they wander off.

If a person travels too far from the facility, an alarm would sound, Hutchins said. Handheld tracking devices could cut the time it takes to find the resident if they went missing.

The search for Mouy Tang, a native of Cambodia and Unique Living resident, has produced little to no leads, no points of reference. A future GPS tracking system could potentially mean the difference between life and death, Hutchins explained. He would like to see a pilot program started to gauge its viability.

"It has been a problem several times (at Unique Living) and anything we can do - invest a little money, create a system to save someone's life - is well worth what we invest into it," he said.

But without government assistance, the idea could fall through the cracks, Clary said Wednesday.

"That may be a quick answer and I like that. But, you'd have to have legislation to do that," she stated. "The money has to follow. The Unique Living situation is a sad one."

Cleveland County Department of Social Services Director John Wasson liked the idea.

"Certainly that would help," he said.

Hutchins said he would continue pursuing the idea with Gordon.

#8 Denise

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:08 AM

http://www.wcnc.com/...87d5d2.html?npc

State closes facility where woman went missing

09:38 PM EDT on Thursday, September 11, 2008

By MARIA KOTULA / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Maria: MKotula@WCNC.com

LAWNDALE, N.C. -- An assisted living facility where a woman went missing more than a week ago has been shut down.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that inspectors found that conditions at Unique Living pose imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of residents.

Last Wednesday, 45-year-old Mouy Tang disappeared from the facility in Lawndale. She has a number of health issues, including schizophrenia and diabetes. She has not had her medication since she went missing.

"How many deaths does it take for the state to step in and say enough is enough?" said Quynh Tang, the missing woman's sister.

Tang drove up from Florida hoping to find answers.

"It's very stressful. I live very far away, so we're hanging by phones," she said.

Workers at Unique Living say Mouy Tang signed herself out of the facility and never came back. Air and ground searches turned up nothing.

"She is a mental patient, OK. To me, they should have an alarm on the door. They should have someone watching these patients," Quynh Tang said.

Tang said she became more frustrated after learning this has happened before.

In 2006, resident Kelly Whitesides disappeared. He was found dead six days later a few hundred yards from the center.

On Thursday, the state took away Unique Living's license.

"It's a little too late for me and my family," Tang said.

The Department of Social Services was called in.

"I have the next 48 hours to find places for 60 residents," said Tom Ensley with DSS. "There's not enough mental health beds in the state."

Quynh Tang said she has this question for the state: "Why would you license a facility as assisted living and send mental patients there?"

She also had a message for her sister.

"I miss you. Please come home. We all miss you very much," she said.

Tang said her family will be announcing a reward on Friday in hopes that it will generate some leads in finding her sister.

Unique Living has 20 days to appeal the state's decision.


#9 Lori Davis

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 01:29 PM

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Major reward offered for missing woman's safe return
Friday, Sep 12 2008, 5:15 pm
David Allen

A visibly distraught Tang family reached out for the community's help Friday, announcing a $15,000 reward for information leading to Mouy Tang's safe return.

"Please bring her home or bring her to the nearest medical facility and drop her off," Quyhn Tang, Mouy's sister-in-law, said to a mound of microphones and television cameras. "We want her back. We need to have her back."

Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Danny Gordon, Sgt. Bryan Gordon and CrimeStoppers President Cecil Burton encouraged any leads or information on Tang's whereabouts be sent to authorities on a priority basis.

Officials are still on the hunt, though on-foot searches have stopped since Tang's Sept. 3 disappearance from Unique Living, which was shut down by the state on Thursday.

"We are working constantly," Bryan Gordon said. "Several officers are assigned to this case full-time."

Leads from community sources have slowed "tremendously," Gordon said. He hopes continued effort and the reward announcement and will spur new information.

Considering Tang's medical needs, Gordon said time is a "huge" factor.

"We understand she has a lot of medical needs that need to be attended to," he said. "That gives us a real sense of urgency and has since minute one."

But it's been more than a week since Tang was last seen. Search dogs were used, but Tang's scent couldn't be tracked. Helicopters took to the skies, producing little to no results.

Quyhn gave DSS Director John Wasson a hug shortly after thanking him and other officials for their diligent efforts to help find Mouy.

But Wasson and other officials have also been hard at work providing the newly displaced Unique Living residents a place to live.

When the state mandated the closing of Unique Living, it left 60 residents without a home. Wasson said DSS staff, sheriff's deputies and mental health officials worked tirelessly to ensure residents had a roof over their heads.

"I think when I left to come to this meeting, there was one person left to be placed," Wasson said. "We tried to place as many as we could in the Gaston, Lincoln, Cleveland (county) mental health area, but given the time, which was very short, by the state, we placed them in a lot of surrounding counties - McDowell County, Yadkin County, Mecklenburg County."

Wasson was proud of everyone doing so much in such a short timeframe.

"It is a major accomplishment," he said.

Lori Davis, Project Jason Forum Moderator
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If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.


#10 Lori Davis

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 05:42 PM

http://www.wsoctv.co...308/detail.html

Assisted Living Facility Gets Doors Slammed Shut After Woman Goes Missing

POSTED: 4:27 pm EDT September 12, 2008
UPDATED: 5:52 pm EDT September 12, 2008

CLEVELAND Co., N.C. -- Assisted Living Facility Gets Doors Slammed Shut After Woman Goes Missing

One patient raised his hand to bid goodbye to Unique Living.

Some packed their belongings in plastic bags.

One patient had lived here for 37 years.

Karen Ellis is DSS Deputy Director. “Some residents are having a very difficult time leaving which we anticipated.”

They were coaxed to leave a facility that the state says was not equipped to keep the mentally ill patients safe.

DSS says most will just end up in other assisted living facilities.

Safer conditions yes, but not geared for the mentally ill.

DSS says there are too few of them.

“The state so far I think has failed as far as looking after this population,” Ellis said.

This afternoon the family of the woman who walked away from Unique Living Wednesday made a plea for help.

“Please bring her home or go to the next medical facility and drop her off. She is very important to us,” Quynh Tang, sister of the missing woman, pleaded

They offered $15,000 for information that leads to the discovery of Moui Tang who disappeared ten days ago.

She is a mentally handicapped, diabetic, and in dire need of medicine.

Her disappearance and problems at Unique Living led the state to take Unique's license to operate.

Her discovery is all the family wants now. “We want her back we need her back,” Tang said.

Investigators are welcoming any leads they can get. “Please come forward we need your help.”

Lori Davis, Project Jason Forum Moderator
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Help us for free when you shop online or do a websearch:
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If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.


#11 Linda

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:32 PM

http://www.shelbysta...que_living.html

Family of missing woman hopes for best, prepares for worst

Sep 18 2008

SHELBY - "What else can we do?".

Quynh Tang said relatives have spent resources. They've waited. They've cried to the public for help.

Still, Mouy Tang remains missing.

But the family isn't giving up.

The Tang family and volunteers are gathering Saturday morning at Unique Living to pass out fliers and conduct another on-foot search for Mouy, who went missing Sept. 3 from the now-closed adult-care facility.

"We just want to bring her home," Quynh, Mouy's sister-in-law, said. "We hope for the best, but we are prepared for the worst."
With help from Charlotte-based Kristen Foundation, billboards are in the works to advise the public of Tang's disappearance, Quynh said.
"It helps, a lot," she said.

Officials said there's been no recent leads to Tang's whereabouts. Divers were brought in to search ponds near Unique Living but found nothing.

Unique Living had its license suspended by the state Sept. 11 because of the risk it presented to its residents, state documents read.



Name: Mouy T. Tang
Age: 46
Height: 5 foot 4
Weight: 128 pounds
Hair: Black, medium length
Eyes: Brown
Distinguishing marks: Birthmark under left eye
Last seen: Sept. 3, Burns High School, 307 E Stagecoach Trail, Lawndale
Last seen wearing: White shirt, beige capris

If you have any information regarding her disappearance, call Sgt. Bryan Gordon with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822 or call CrimeStoppers anonymously at 704-481-TIPS (8477). Your tip could be rewarded with $15,000.

#12 Denise

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:05 PM

http://www.gastongaz...uy_missing.html

Family of missing woman holds onto hope

September 19, 2008 - 12:47PM
David Allen

SHELBY - "What else can we do?"

Quynh Tang said relatives have spent resources. They've waited. They've cried to the public for help.

Still, Mouy Tang remains missing.

But the family isn't giving up.

The Tang family and volunteers are gathering Saturday morning at Unique Living to pass out fliers and conduct another on-foot search for Mouy, who went missing Sept. 3 from the now-closed adult-care facility.

"We just want to bring her home," Quynh, Mouy's sister-in-law, said. "We hope for the best, but we are prepared for the worst."

With help from Charlotte-based Kristen Foundation, billboards are in the works to advise the public of Tang's disappearance, Quynh said.

"It helps, a lot," she said.

Officials said there's been no recent leads to Tang's whereabouts. Divers were brought in to search ponds near Unique Living but found nothing.

Unique Living had its license suspended by the state Sept. 11 because of the risk it presented to its residents, state documents read.

Name: Mouy T. Tang
Age: 46
Height: 5 foot 4
Weight: 128 pounds
Hair: Black, medium length
Eyes: Brown
Distinguishing marks: Birthmark under left eye
Last seen: Sept. 3, Burns High School, 307 E Stagecoach Trail, Lawndale
Last seen wearing: White shirt, beige capris

If you have any information regarding her disappearance, call Sgt. Bryan Gordon with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822 or call CrimeStoppers anonymously at 704-481-TIPS (8477). Your tip could be rewarded with $15,000.

#13 Denise

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 02:16 PM

http://www.wcnc.com/...17d620.html?npc

Family resumes search for missing woman

11:35 AM EDT on Saturday, September 20, 2008

By NewsChannel 36 Staff
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Family and friends of a missing woman are stepping up search efforts to find her. Muoy Tang was living at the "Unique Living Center" in Lawndale when police say she walked away two weeks ago. Volunteers began searching the area again Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Volunteer teams handed out fliers during their search. Tang's family is offering a 15 thousand dollar reward.

The state shut down the center shortly after Tang's disappearance. The facility had problems prior to this case. In 2006, resident Kelly Whitesides disappeared and was found dead six days later a few hundred yards from the center.

If you have any information... call the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office.


#14 Denise

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 08:03 AM

http://www.charlotte...ory/214908.html

Posted Image

Report details troubles at care facility
State cites broken alarm, lax staffing at adult care home in Cleveland County where a resident has gone missing.


By Pam Kelley
pkelley@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Friday, Sep. 26, 2008

On Sept. 3, the 46-year-old woman disappeared from Unique Living, a troubled adult care home in Cleveland County.

Following her disappearance, state officials shut down the home.

But Tang, who has schizophrenia and requires insulin to control diabetes, remains missing. Family members fear she may be dead, and they blame state officials for failing to act sooner.

“They've failed us and our family,” says SueLee Waller of Raleigh, Tang's niece. “The problems run much deeper than losing my aunt. It's a reflection on the health system and how people view and treat the disabled.”

A new report, released this week, details violations the state found after Tang's disappearance, including broken door alarms and a staff that wasn't properly supervising its 60 residents.

Unique Living administrators couldn't be reached Thursday.

The report also describes Tang, who escaped Cambodia's brutal government in 1983, but spent much of her life in America struggling with schizophrenia.

She was usually confused, Unique Living staff members told state inspectors. She needed to be reminded to come for meals and medication. Sometimes, she put her clothes on backwards or tried to wear pants on her arms.

She spent most of her waking hours with a male resident, her best friend.

A facility administrator told inspectors that up until Tang disappeared, she never left Unique Living alone. One resident said otherwise: Sometimes, Tang would go into the front yard alone.

Tang had lived at Unique Living since 1993, when the facility was called Yelton's Health Care. After one resident died from choking on a sandwich and another died from scalding in a tub, Yelton's reopened in 2005 under different ownership as Unique Living.

The facility, near Fallston, about 50 miles west of Charlotte, had been repeatedly accused of poor patient care and unsafe conditions. Though most of its residents were mentally ill, it was licensed to care for elderly adults. It housed mentally ill people on Medicaid because the state didn't have anywhere to put them.

In 2006, the state fined the home $16,000 after a man with diabetes and dementia wandered from the facility and died. Some mental health advocates had argued then that it should be closed.

In June, Cleveland County Department of Social Services officials told the state that utility companies were threatening to cut services because the facility hadn't paid its bills. It asked the state to take over management of the home, warning it was “only a matter of time” before a resident was injured or harmed.

The letter “reflected what we thought was a collapse of the supervision and the management of the facility,” Cleveland Social Services Director John Wasson says. “They couldn't the pay bills. We felt if they couldn't pay the bills, they couldn't do anything else.”

The state responded with a July inspection. It found nine exit doors that lacked alarms to alert staff when a resident was walking out. Mattresses were ripped and stained. Pillows were soiled with brown stains.

But those violations weren't serious enough to warrant a management takeover, state officials say. And many of the problems the county listed in its June letter couldn't be verified, said Jeff Horton, acting director of the state Division of Health Service Regulation.

On the morning of Sept. 3, Tang wandered away from the home. She was spotted about two miles away, near Burns High School. Since then, family members have organized searches and offered a $15,000 reward, without success.

“It's just been very traumatic and heartbreaking for us,” Waller says.

One day after her disappearance, state officials returned to Unique Living.

They found that door alarms hadn't been fixed, even though they'd given the home an Aug. 29 deadline. The executive director told state inspectors that the electrician hired to fix the doors had stopped work “due to non-payment for previous work.”

But on this visit, inspectors also found that staff members weren't properly supervising residents, putting them in imminent danger, according to the new report.

That plus the broken door alarms prompted the state to suspend the facility's license, Horton said Thursday.

Cleveland County officials see the Unique Living saga differently.

They say staff members' inability to supervise residents is a longstanding problem.

Residents went in and out of the facility all the time, to smoke, or take a walk or blow off steam, says Teala McSwain, program manager for Cleveland's Department of Social Services.

Though many workers cared about the residents, staff monitoring of everyone “would have been almost humanly impossible,” she says.

What finally persuaded the state to close Unique Living, says Cleveland County's Wasson, is Tang's family – “a very caring family who advocated for her in Raleigh. When you have an active, involved family, I think it was really hard for them to blow this thing off like they usually do.”

Wasson maintains that Tang might now be safe with her family if the state had heeded Cleveland County's June letter.

“Just given everything that's gone down, I think the (Department of Health Service Regulation) makes Wall Street regulators look efficient.”

Mouy Tang is 5 feet 2 inches and 148 pounds. She has medium-length black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a white shirt and beige capri pants. Family members think she may have gotten a ride with someone, so she could be outside Cleveland County.

If you have information, call Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Detective Sgt. Bryan Gordon, 704-484-4822.
Mouy Tang didn't talk much, but she did talk about going home. Sometimes, Tang, who emigrated from Cambodia, talked of long-ago memories of rice paddies.

#15 Lori Davis

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 02:59 PM

http://www.wsoctv.co...784/detail.html

Family Of Missing Woman Suing Assisted Living Facility
POSTED: 6:07 pm EDT October 3, 2008

LAWNDALE, N.C. -- The family of a missing woman is suing the nursing home from where she disappeared.

Muoy Tang has been missing for exactly one month. Her family said the Unique Living Center in Lawndale did not supervise her properly and wants at least $10,000 in damages.

Since Tang’s disappearance, the state has closed down the facility, saying the residents were living in dangerous conditions.

Tang's sister said this has been extremely hard on her family. The family also wants punitive damages to be determined at a trial.

Lori Davis, Project Jason Forum Moderator
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#16 Lori Davis

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 03:15 PM

http://www.shelbysta...ving_state.html

Family of missing woman to file suit against Unique Living (with lawsuit document)
Friday, Oct 3 2008, 6:49 pm
David Allen

LAWNDALE - Quynh Tang said it's been a month of no leads, a month of no apologies.
It was Sept. 3 when Mouy Tang, a native of Cambodia and Unique Living resident, went missing. Since then, she hasn't been seen.

"We're still hoping that anyone will come out with any information on her," Quynh said, standing a few dozen feet from the facility's front door. "We want to bring her home."

With attorney Neal Rodgers, the Tang family announced Friday they had filed a civil lawsuit against Unique Living, Jacobs Enterprises and officials involved with both organizations.

According to information from Department of Social Services, there was a legal contract with Jacobs Enterprises of California to manage the facility in a lease-to-purchase agreement effective May 1, 2008.

Jamie Yelton, principal executive officer with Unique Living, according to the lawsuit, declined to comment on Mouy's disappearance or the lawsuit.

Suit on the state
Rodgers stated that a lawsuit would soon be filed against the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services - more specifically, the Division of Health Service Regulation.

Safety issues surrounding Unique Living prompted the county DSS to send Barbara Ryan, DHSR adult care licensure section chief, a letter in June.

Ryan was unavailable for comment late Friday.

Rodgers said the state agencies in question have a responsibility to protect and hold responsible facilities such as Unique Living.

"We feel the department failed, just really failed at that," he said. "Social Services here in Cleveland County begged the state to close down Unique Living or appoint a temporary manager and the state refused to do that and only took action after Mouy's disappearance. And at that point, it was too late."

Unique Living had its license suspended by the state Sept. 11 - a week after Mouy went missing - because of the risk it presented to its residents.

The objective of the lawsuits? Hit the organizations where it hurts, Rodgers explained.

Other issues
"At this point, that's the only mechanism we have to bring these groups to justice - to attack their pocketbook," he said. "(Unique Living) has been able to avoid criminal charges ... and so what we have done is to seek to attack companies and corporations like this in the one spot that hopefully hurts them the most."

Rodgers also sees the lawsuit as a tool to shed light on other issues.

"We hope that by filing the complaint today and by filing the complaint against the state agency ... we can begin to draw some attention to the lack of funding and the problems that are occurring not only here but in adult-care homes across the state."

Since her sister-in-law's disappearance, Quynh said there's been no condolences from any officials with the oft-
criticized adult-care home.

The lawsuit simply "needs to happen," she said.

Lori Davis, Project Jason Forum Moderator
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#17 Denise

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 03:55 PM

http://www.shelbysta...ing_porter.html

Unique Living provided home, opportunity says former resident

Monday, Oct 6 2008, 5:45 pm
David Allen

LAWNDALE - Unique Living has been hit with criticism, a license suspension and even a civil lawsuit.
But one former resident said the now-closed adult-care facility gave her unforgettable friends and a fresh start at life.

"I was used to seeing those smiles," said Shannon Porter, of Cherryville. "I went to visit a friend; it looked like a ghost town up there."

Porter first came to Unique Living in 1998 after a three-month stint in Broughton Hospital - a "life-changing" move made possible by a "fantastic" Unique Living staff.

"I wish there was something I could say to open the place back up," she said, fighting back tears. "I've got friends (that were moved after Unique Living closed) that are calling me and they're so miserable. They've placed them here, there and everywhere they could put them."

Porter said the residents were the best friends she ever made.

"They didn't have much, but they would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it," she said.

One of the residents Porter knew was Mouy Tang, a native of Cambodia who disappeared Sept. 3 and hasn't been seen since.

"I knew Mouy Tang eight years," said Porter. "She said ‘Hey' every day. She told me I was pretty."

Porter said Unique Living gave her a chance to get back on her feet following the death of her father, Chuck Porter, who was killed in 1993 at a Kings Mountain rest stop on I-85. No arrests have been made in her father's killing.

"I didn't have anywhere to go," she said. "(Unique Living officials) put me right in a trailer. No questions asked."

Porter will celebrate three years on her own come March. Unique Living provided more than a home, she said. It gave opportunity.

"I saw a lot of people change," Porter said. "They took good care of me."

#18 Denise

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 10:55 AM

http://www.gastongaz...am_missing.html

Search for 3 missing women getting some help from Texas

Texas EquuSearch will look for Jamie Fraley, Jennifer Rivkin and Mouy Tang

October 19, 2008 - 10:49PM
Daniel Jackson

A high-profile search and recovery team has plans to meet with Gaston County detectives today and should begin searching Tuesday for Jamie Fraley, who disappeared April 8.

Also Texas EquuSearch Inc.-founder Tim Miller recently announced plans to look for two other missing women in our area, as well - Jennifer Rivkin, who disappeared from Gastonia May 6, and Mouy Tang, a 46-year-old woman who vanished from an assisted care facility near Lawndale on Sept. 3.

"I've been on pins and needles all weekend," said Kim Fraley, who asked Texas EquuSearch to help her find her missing daughter.

Joan Petruski, founder of the Charlotte-based Kristen Foundation for Missing Adults, said Bessemer City Central Gym on Washington Avenue will be the command post for Texas EquuSearch's operation in the area.

The organization is asking for adult volunteers with identification, especially those who might be able to assist the search efforts on an ATV. Volunteers are encouraged to dress for searching in wooded areas. Donations of food and water for volunteers are also needed, Petruski said.

Miller started Texas EquuSearch after his 16-year-old daughter Laura Miller was abducted and murdered in 1984. The organization has more than 800 members nationwide and eight years of experience on more than 930 missing-person cases.

Texas EquuSearch most recently conducted searches for 28-year-old Kelly Morris, who disappeared from Stem on Sept. 4. Prior to visiting North Carolina, his team was searching Orlando for two missing people that have received national media attention - 3-year-old Caylee Anthony, who went missing in June, and 27-yearold Jennifer Keese, who vanished in January 2006.

Miller has also been active in the ongoing search for Alabama-teen Natalee Holloway, who vanished from Aruba during a senior class trip in 2005.

"He's a busy man," said Petruski.

#19 Denise

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 05:39 PM

http://www.shelbysta...arch_texas.html

Family waits for closure in missing woman search
Texas EquuSearch looking into Mouy Tang, Gaston women disappearances

Tuesday, Oct 21 2008, 4:28 pm
David Allen and Daniel Jackson

"We've got a lot of family members that want to search," she said Monday.

Previous searches have turned up little to nothing on her sister-in-law's whereabouts. It's been a month and a half since Mouy Tang, a native of Cambodia and former Unique Living resident, was last seen.

Her family hasn't given up hope though. Neither have investigators.

Detectives with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office have worked every lead without success. But Lt. Jon Wright, with the sheriff's office, said Monday he was surprised there haven't been more leads considering the reward offered by the family.

A high-profile search and recovery team, Texas EquuSearch Inc., plans to start a search for Mouy hopefully by the weekend, Quynh said. Any support the community can give would be appreciated, she added.

"We would really appreciate anything they can do for us," Tang said.

But Cleveland County won't be the team's first stop.

The team revealed they should begin their work searching for 22-year-old Gastonia resident Jamie Fraley, who went missing April 8.

The group has also announced that they will search for Jennifer Rivkin, who disappeared from Gastonia May 6, in addition to a search that is already underway for 28-year-old Kelly Morris, who disappeared from Stem in Granville County on Sept. 4.

"I've been on pins and needles all weekend," said Kim Fraley, who asked Texas EquuSearch to help her find her missing daughter.

The organization is asking for adult volunteers with identification, especially those who might be able to assist the search efforts on an ATV. Volunteers are encouraged to dress for searching in wooded areas. Donations of food and water for volunteers are also needed.

Miller started Texas EquuSearch after his 16-year-old daughter, Laura, was abducted and killed in 1984. The organization has more than 800 members nationwide and eight years of experience on more than 930 missing-person cases.

Before visiting North Carolina, Miller's team was searching Orlando for two missing people who have received national media attention - 3-year-old Caylee Anthony, who went missing in June, and 27-year-old Jennifer Keese, who vanished in January 2006.

Miller has been active in the ongoing search for Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, who vanished from Aruba during a senior class trip in 2005.


#20 Lori Davis

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 06:09 PM

http://www.charlotte...ory/291175.html

Search for missing woman planned
By Pam Kelley
Posted: Friday, Oct. 31, 2008

Mouy Tieng Tang, missing since early Wednesday morning, September 3

Volunteers from Texas EquuSearch will be in Cleveland County Saturday to search for Mouy Tang, the woman who disappeared in September from an adult care home near Fallston.

They'll meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at Burns High School in Lawndale. The Kristen Foundation for missing adults, which is organizing the search, is soliciting more people over 18 to search or donate food and drinks.

The Kristen Foundation also placed a billboard in Shelby this week advertising a $15,000 reward from Tang's family for her location and safe return.

Tang, 46, has schizophrenia and requires insulin to control her diabetes. She wandered from Unique Living on Sept. 3. State officials later shut down the troubled home.

Tang is 5 feet 2 inches and 148 pounds. She has medium-length black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a white shirt and beige capri pants.

If you have information, call the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822.

Lori Davis, Project Jason Forum Moderator
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Help us for free when you shop online or do a websearch:
http://www.goodsearc...harityid=857029

 

Please help us in our mission as a 501 c 3 nonprofit: http://projectjason....y-campaign.html

If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.





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