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FDLE: Professional guardian accused of causing death under criminal investigation

Posted at 12:05 PM, Jul 26, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — A professional guardian under fire for allegedly causing the death of a man who was under her care by issuing a do-not-resuscitate order without permission is now the subject of a criminal investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed to ABC Action News on Friday.

The FDLE opened a criminal investigation into professional guardian Rebecca Fierle on July 25, according to FDLE spokeswoman Jessica Cary.


Cary said the investigation is being run out of the FDLE’s Orlando office in cooperation with law enforcement partners statewide.

Citing the active investigation, the agency would not say what potential crimes it is investigating or whether the probe involves the death of Steven Stryker.

Earlier this month, a state investigation recommended criminal charges against Fierle for withholding medical care from Stryker.

That investigation found Fierle capped off Stryker's feeding tube and signed a DNR order without permission. Stryker choked to death at St. Joseph's Hospital days later after doctors there told her to rescind that order.

In the wake of Stryker’s death, an Orange County judge removed Fierle from 98 cases and she later resigned from 40 other guardianship cases in Seminole, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

I-Team Investigator Adam Walser caught up with Fierle Wednesday after a court hearing for another guardianship case in Hillsborough County, but she refused to answer any questions about what happened to Stryker or how she handles her cases.

As a professional guardian, Fierle is appointed by the courts to care for those who a judge rules are unable to care for themselves.

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