CORDOVA – A joint investigation by special agents with the Medicaid Fraud Control Division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Memphis Police Department has resulted in the indictment and arrest of an owner/caregiver of a care home and another caregiver in the death of a 60-year-old patient.
On March 4, 2021, at the request of 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich, agents joined an ongoing investigation by the Memphis Police Department into an incident involving an elderly woman who sustained life-threatening injuries. At the onset of their investigation, in February of 2021, MPD arrested a caregiver, Anthony Freeman, and charged him with Aggravated Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult and Tampering with Evidence. As the joint investigation continued, it was determined that Cynthia Garrison (DOB: 3/7/61), while living in a care home in the 900 block of Hunters Point in Cordova, was abused and neglected, and subsequently died from her injuries. The home was owned by Brenda Hightower, who also worked as a caregiver.
On March 17th, the Shelby County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Hightower (DOB: 5/25/46) with First Degree Murder, Aggravated Neglect of a Vulnerable or Elderly Adult, Vulnerable Adult Abuse, and Financial Exploitation of an Elderly or Vulnerable Person. The grand jury returned indictments charging Freeman (DOB: 3/24/68) with First Degree Murder, Aggravated Neglect of a Vulnerable or Elderly Adult, Vulnerable Adult Abuse, and Tampering with Evidence.
Today, with the assistance of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Hightower was taken into custody and booked into the Shelby County Jail East Women’s Facility. She is being held without bond. Freeman has remained jailed since his initial arrest. His bond is set at $2,000,000.
The TBI’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $6,879,772.50 for federal Fiscal Year 2022. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $2,293,257.00 for Fiscal Year 2021-2022, is funded by the State of Tennessee.