'The hope is no other family has to suffer': Loved ones of care facility abuse victims share anger

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — "This is a picture of my Nicholas."

Catherine Wickline wants you to see her son. She believes he died from the abuse and torture he suffered at McGuire Memorial, a facility caring for people with severe mental and physical disabilities.

"Victims that cannot communicate, that are unable to rollover, unable to lift their arms to protect themselves in any manner," Wickline said.

Michelle Short's brother was also a victim of abuse.

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"The hope is every night that no other family has to suffer through this like we have," she said.

READ: Employee at home for disabled children, adults arrested for taking inappropriate pictures of them

A former care worker, Zachary Dinell, has been charged with abusing patients at the facility and taking pictures and videos of the acts.

Both women know their loved ones were terrified when police said Dinell did horrible things to them and captured them in pictures and videos on his cellphone over the course of a year.

Short and Wickline believe Dinell had a hand in both of their deaths.


McGuire Memorial officials have always maintained they knew nothing about this.

They fired Dinell and banned cellphones from workers, but the wrongful death lawsuit filed Thursday alleges something totally different -- claiming the facility played a part in both men's deaths.

Attorney Robert Pierce said 17 victims of Dinell have been identified so far. He wants to know how it could happen without anyone else noticing.

"McGuire Memorial did not have proper staff, proper supervision, proper training," said Pierce. "As hard as it is for these loved ones to come forward, to be part of this lawsuit, they know they have to."

Pierce said if more victims come forward, they will take on their cases as well.

Dinell is heading to trial on multiple charges, including aggravated assault, in January 2020.