Woods Cross woman accused of using man with disability to obtain painkillers

A Woods Cross woman has been arrested and accused of using a man who functions on the level of a 12-year-old to obtain prescription painkillers.

A Woods Cross woman has been arrested and accused of using a man who functions on the level of a 12-year-old to obtain prescription painkillers. (Bogdan Vija, Shutterstock)


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WOODS CROSS — A Woods Cross woman was arrested Tuesday and accused of picking up a man with a mental disability from his care center and using him to obtain prescription painkillers.

Lyric Louise Nathan, 26, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of 10 counts of intentional abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, 10 counts of falsely obtaining a prescription, and four counts of endangerment of a vulnerable adult.

On May 15, Unified police were notified by a physician's assistant that a 60-year-old man, who functions at the level of a 12-year-old because of a traumatic brain injury, was recently seen at the emergency room at St. Mark's Hospital and prescribed medication. The assistant thought it was odd because she was not notified and because the pharmacy at the man's assisted living facility provides prescriptions he needs, according to a police booking affidavit.

As the physician's assistant investigated more, she learned the man had made several visits to St. Mark's between Feb. 7 and May 14. The woman "then called police, stating she believed someone may be using her client's information to obtain controlled substances," the affidavit states.

Between Feb. 7 and Monday, the man was given prescription medication — typically painkillers — at least 11 times at St. Mark's and in Layton, according to police. The majority of pills were prescribed at the St. Mark's Comprehensive Spine facility, according to the affidavit.

A doctor at the facility told police Nathan posed as the man's daughter and claimed her father had been in a car crash in February. The doctor insisted that he be scanned with Magnetic Resonance Imaging, but says Nathan kept coming up with excuses for why they had not obtained the MRI, the affidavit states. On May 9, after finally receiving results of an MRI, the doctor told them the man's injuries were old and he would no longer prescribe medications.

Police say after that, Nathan started taking the man to the emergency room.

Unified police went to the man's treatment facility to speak with him and staff members. He said "he sometimes gets picked up by a female who will take him to appointments. I asked him how he met this female. (He) said he was out walking around the assisted living facility when he was approached by a female in a car who asked if she could give him a ride. The female also told (him) she could give him rides to any appointments if he needed it," according to the affidavit.

The man said he did not know the woman's name, but she would call the treatment facility and pick him up.

The detective investigating the case obtained a warrant for a GPS tracking device to be placed on Nathan's car, which recorded her "visiting multiple dental offices and hospitals on multiple days" and then going to multiple pharmacies, the affidavit alleges.

A warrant was also served to collect information from the Division of Professional Licensing on Nathan, which showed that she was "flagged" by state officials "as having visited 10 different prescribers in six months, and seven pharmacies in six months. On multiple occasions, beginning in February, Lyric Nathan visited dentists and doctors and obtained prescriptions for oxycodone or hydrocodone."

On Tuesday, police went to Nathan's house to question her.

"Lyric said she needs to take approximately three to five pills at a time to ease her back pain, and that she became addicted to the pill about three years ago following a car accident," the affidavit says.

Despite the man's limited mental capacity, "Lyric said she did not think there was anything wrong with (his) mental capabilities," according to the affidavit.

Police said they were are also investigating Nathan's husband but, as of Wednesday, no other arrests had been made.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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