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Accused, charged fake Colorado nurse arrested in Texas nearly 2 years after family complained

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 17, 2018

KNOX CITY, Texas -- Police arrested a woman over the weekend who's charged with pretending to be a nurse at two Colorado nursing homes.

Glenwood Springs police told Contact7 they tracked down Heather Wood -- also known as Heather McCray -- to Knox City, Texas, where they said officers there arrested her at home around 11 p.m. Saturday.

"She was cooperative during the arrest," Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said in an e-mail to Contact7.

Wood's case was first exposed in Contact7's "Unlicensed, Unpunished" series of stories, which culminated in a 30-minute television special that aired June 30.

State documents reveal that Wood worked at both Elk Run Assisted Living in Evergreen in 2016 and later at Glenwood Springs Health Care in Glenwood Springs in 2017.

State regulators from the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) took nearly two years to issue a cease and desist order against Wood despite receiving a complaint from a patient's family and then repeated inquiries from Contact7 Investigates.  When they finally alerted law enforcement, after Contact7 started asking questions about the case, police acted within weeks.  They generated an arrest warrant on charges of criminal impersonation and unauthorized practice of nursing.

Contact7 discovered state documents that reveal Wood, at one point, had presented the license number of a woman named Heather Stone from Texas. Colorado regulators seemingly took her word for it while investigating the 2016 complaint. Later, after she took the nursing job at Glenwood Springs Health Care, the facility's staff discovered she did not have a nursing license. They contacted regulators who then determined Heather Stone and Heather Wood are different people.

Heather Stone told Contact7 that Colorado regulators never contacted her and never made her aware of the case. Contact7 was the first to tell her about it.

State regulators have changed their policies and procedures on orders from Governor John Hickenlooper who said Contact7's reporting is "actually making the community safer."  One of the changes enacted by DORA involves prompt and documented case referrals to law enforcement.

Wood has not responded to Contact7's previous requests for comment.  It's unclear when she'll be scheduled to appear in Colorado to answer to the charges. She bonded out of the Knox County, Texas jail on Sunday.