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Mid-South nurse accused of stealing hundreds of patients’ prescription pills

FAYETTE COUNTY, Tenn. --Hundreds of stolen prescription pills plus meth and marijuana. State Police said they found it all in a car driven by someone trusted to keep those prescriptions safe.

It was December 12, 2018. A cold Tuesday night.

Tennessee troopers got a call about a crash on I-40E in Fayette County near mile marker 42.

It was 10:35 p.m. when state police discovered a Dodge Charger that ran off the road and got stuck in the mud, but that's not all they found.

Court documents state there was "a strong smell of marijuana" and "smoked, rolled cigarettes" under the driver's seat that reeked of the drug.

They also found "a glass pipe with white residue."

In the back seat, there was "a pillow case with various types of prescription medication" with "600 pills." They were "prescribed to different people."

Investigators say the driver was LaTisha Hayden, a nurse who admitted the pills belonged to her patients.

It gets worse. Troopers say once they put Hayden in handcuffs, she confessed to having methamphetamine in her anus. Officers allowed her to remove it. They said it weighed four grams.

Hayden was booked at the Fayette County jail on theft and drug charges. A month later, she bonded out and is now waiting for her case to go to a grand jury.

Hayden's arrest has gone under the radar until we started asking questions.

Dozens of emails and phone calls finally gave us more information about where she worked and led us to Madison Oaks Behavioral Center in Jackson, Tennessee. She was there until a couple of weeks before her arrest.

The C.E.O., Greg Sizemore, didn't want to go on camera, but told us state investigators cited 27 different types of medications in Hayden's car, and some came from his facility.

He said Hayden stole blood pressure and depression medications from patients who moved out or no longer needed them instead of discarding them into a locked cabinet.

Sizemore said the facility is now taking inventory more frequently.

"I used to deliver some medications. They were really strict on what we had to count and stuff like that," said Jackson resident Teresa Williford. "They're relying on them to take care of them."

It's unclear where else the stolen pills came from. Hayden's resume says over the years, she worked at several facilities and was employed by multiple staffing agencies in the Mid-South.

At the time of the arrest, she was employed by Maxim Healthcare services.

In a statement, a spokesperson wrote, "Upon learning of the arrest, Ms. Hayden was immediately suspended pending an internal review. As a result of that investigation, she is no longer employed with our company."

They refered us to the Inspector General's Office, who had no comment.

We went to Hayden's Arlington address listed on court documents to get her side of the story, but were told she moved. It's unclear where.

A national database called Nursys states her nursing license allows her to work in multiple states. However, it doesn't mention the charges she's facing.

In fact, months after her arrest, her license remains "active" even stating on the state's website, "no history of disciplinary action."

We went to the state to find out why that was. Hear their response Friday on News Channel 3 at 5.

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