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California elderly patients left to fend for themselves after social services shuts down facility

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Medical staff abandoned a Northern California assisted-living facility after the state Department of Social Services shut it down on Thursday, leaving behind 14 senior patients to fend for themselves for more than two days.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office was called Saturday afternoon to the Castro Valley facility, which appears to be listed variously as Valley Springs Manor, Valley Manor Community Care Home or Valley Manor Residential Care, Sgt. J.D. Nelson told NBC Bay Area.

A sign on the front door read, "NOTICE: CLOSED FOR BUSINESS."

Patients at the facility were left with a bare-minimum staff of only a cook, a janitor and a caretaker for two days, said Sgt. Nelson, adding that many of the patients were in wheelchairs or bedridden.

Sheriff's deputies are searching for the owners of the facility, who now could be facing jail time for abuse of the elderly. State officials said the owners also had facilities in Oakland and Modesto that were shut down last week as well.

"What they've done is negligent, and they should be prosecuted for what they've done at this facility and other facilities," said Burton Nash, whose parents were living in the facility. "Abandoning elderly people and elderly abuse is just criminal."

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