WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s been almost two weeks now since a visiting nurse was found dead in Willimantic. As Connecticut State Police continue to investigate, an attorney retained by Joyce Grayson’s family is also trying to piece together what happened.
“This is a woman who went into a situation that was extremely dangerous, and she should have been protected in that situation,” said Kelly Reardon, an attorney representing the Grayson family.
For the New London-based attorney, it was clear to her from the start that civil action could be taken on behalf of Grayson’s family.
“They’re grieving, they’re upset,” Reardon said. “We don’t know a lot of details at this point. No one does.”
They do know that on the morning of Oct. 28, Grayson went to a home in Willimantic. It was her first appointment of the day as a visiting nurse.
“She was the ultimate caregiver, and you see that in her profession — her chosen profession — which was to provide psychological nursing care to people,” Reardon explained.
It’s also where the 63-year-old was found dead by Willimantic police later that day. While no one has been charged in connection to her death, we’ve learned through court documents that Michael Reese, who she was there to see, is a possible suspect.
“We’re looking into every possible aspect of liability here, and that starts with the suspect’s history,” Reardon said. “It goes back to his time in prison and how that was addressed by probation and the state. It goes through the treatment all the way up to the halfway house he was living at.”
Reardon added that they’re working to determine how Grayson ended up alone and what steps should have been taken to keep her safe.
“We just want to make sure that when we file a lawsuit, we do it the right way, and we have the evidence we need to support it,” she said.
As the process continues, Reardon told News 8 that the family hopes this will enact change to ensure that what happened to Grayson will not happen to other home health care workers.
There’s already a push from some state lawmakers to make that happen. They’re planning to address it during the upcoming 2024 legislative session. As for the investigation, the Connecticut State Police said it is active and ongoing.
“Of course, they’re eager for there to be an arrest, but they want the police to ensure that when they do arrest the person who is to be arrested that they have the evidence they need,” Reardon said.
Following the tragedy, Elara Caring, where Grayson was working, told News 8 that the safety and wellbeing of their team members is their top priority, and they’re fully cooperating with the investigation.
A GoFundMe has been started to assist Grayson’s family during this time. If you would like to donate, click here.