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15-page report by DHHS sheds light on violations at facility where Joshua Martin went missing

Posted at 10:49 PM, May 23, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Twenty-eight year old Joshua Martin has been missing for more than a month. His family, who lives in Millard, trusted a Lincoln facility to care for him.

It's important to know that Joshua's family moved him into that facility because he has schizophrenia and severe OCD. They say he functions at the level of a five-year-old. On April 5, he went missing and hasn't been seen since. Family and friends searched several times and even hired two private investigators.

In addition to covering the search for Joshua, KMTV has also been digging into the facility caring for him.

KMTV has uncovered new information that shows state regulators cited Integrated Behavioral Health Services for violations stemming from Martin's disappearance. The report reveals what happened the day Joshua went missing.

The 15-page statement of deficiencies and plan of correction from the Department of Health and Human Services outlines the investigation conducted at Integrated Behavioral Health Services in Lincoln in the days after Joshua went missing.

Regulators discovered that on the day Joshua went missing, there were not enough staff members in the facility. The state requires a ratio of 1:4 during the day and 1:6 during overnight hours.

The inspector who wrote the report said that on April 5, the facility: "...Did not meet the policy identified 1:4 ratio nor did the facility have sufficient staff to supervise and prevent Client 1 from eloping..."

KMTV learned Client 1 is Joshua Martin. Elopement is their word for leaving without notice.

Previous accounts of the day from police reports indicate Martin went missing at 1:30 p.m. The report reveals more information: Staff told investigators that they don't know exactly when he left, only that it happened between approximately 1:30 p.m., the last time staff checked on him and 2:10 p.m. After staff searched for him, they called police at 2:46 p.m.

The report states: "The administrator verified they had no evidence regarding how or at what time Client 1 had eloped as staff on duty had not witnessed Client 1 leaving the facility's premises."

The state report also found that IBHS existing policies and procedures regarding missing clients were not in compliance with state regulations.

And there's another citation. Joshua was also on an individualized service plan, which required weekly review with a therapist. In an interview with DHHS, the chief operating officer stated there was no evidence of review of Martin's plan in February, March, and April 2024. There was no rationale stated as to why those reviews were not completed.

KMTV asked the facility for an on-camera interview or even just a phone interview several times. They declined, citing privacy laws.

Neither the state nor the facility provided Joshua Martin's family with a copy of this report. The first time they read it was when KMTV brought it to them.

"It's very agitating. Angry. Just in dismay," said Kary Tronson, Joshua's aunt.

Tronson told us in person, and his parents told us over the phone, they now question everything they thought they knew about IBHS.

"A place that was supposed to be housing people that had special needs or disabilities was supposed to be there to protect and serve these patients," said Tronson. "They definitely let these patients and their families down."

IBHS has submitted a plan of correction. The pages are the policies and procedures IBHS has changed or will change. The state has accepted them. In the meantime, Joshua is still missing.