Posted: Jul 3, 2013 9:57 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2013 10:22 PM
EDINBURG - Boxes of medical records were discovered abandoned at an alley over the weekend.
The files originated from Dr. Marilyn Nobles practice. They were discovered around a dumpster near the Jackson Palm Apartments.
A CHANNEL 5 NEWS viewer discovered the more than 20 boxes of files. The files contained patients' names, dates of birth and full Social Security numbers. The documents also contained intimate patient mental health information, intelligence scores and their confessions.
The files belonged to patients from Mission to Brownsville.
"I'd hate to think that my stuff is in there, my mom's stuff, my dad's or somebody I know," said the man who found the records. He asked to remain anonymous.
"That's pretty bad. There's a lot of folks' information here, and you wonder why we have so much identity theft," he said.
"If we had bad intentions we could sell a lot of this information, I mean, if I knew how to do that," the man who found the records said.
A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew dug through the dumpster and collected every file in sight. On Tuesday, an investigator with the attorney general's office picked up the boxes at the station's studio in Weslaco.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS Reporter Shelley Childers contacted some of the patients to inform them about the find.
Abraham Trevino and his mother, Guadalupe Trevino, were stunned when they found out the files had been tossed.
"It's not right," Abraham Trevino said.
The files contained more than just medical information for the Trevino family. The pages had detailed accounts of Abraham's sessions with Nobles. His confessions, fears, frustrations and dreams were there in black and white.
"It makes me mad, because these people are supposed to be professionals. They don't have the credibility to do what they're supposed to be doing with these papers. They just left them there," Guadalupe Trevino said.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS left the Trevino's copy with them.
Nobles is nowhere to be found. The address listed for her in Edinburg is old.
Nobles' former roommate, Lois Bormann, said Nobles left behind a mess.
"Four big boxes, 50 pounds a piece," Bormann said.
Bormann said the boxes were full of random files. She mailed the boxes to San Antonio.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS Reporter Joe Augustine went to the address listed in San Antonio.
"I haven't seen her since February, and I don't want to see her thanks," a man at the address said.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS found a house Nobles uses as office space. Dr. Elisa Sanchez said Nobles worked there from 2004 to 2006.
"After she left here, I don't know where she went," Sanchez said. "She just said she needed to leave."
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists said Nobles does have an active and current license to practice and has no history of reprimands.
"We're probably going to open a complaint and investigate it ourselves. We'll do an in-house complaint ... conduct and investigation and if we find a rule violation there's going to be a sanction," TSBEP Executive Director Darrel Spinks said from his office in Austin.
The records now are in the hands of the attorney general's office. The 22 boxes and one bag had been kept locked in a secure room at CHANNEL 5 NEWS studios in Weslaco.
Abraham Trevino's file and hundreds more are now part of a state lawsuit against the psychologist. The attorney general filed the suit Wednesday in Hidalgo County.