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PIERCE COUNTY, Wis. – A hospice nurse in Wisconsin could face 40 years in prison after she allegedly amputated the foot of a dying man without his permission.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by KSTP, a Pierce County medical examiner first noticed during an autopsy that a foot had been removed from a body he was supposed to examine. Before he died, the unnamed elder person had been in the care of Mary K. Brown, 38, a Spring Valley Health and Rehab Center nurse.

The man had been admitted to the center in March with severe frostbite on both feet, according to WQOW. By May, it was believed that he was close to the end of his life, according to the criminal complaint.

According to authorities, witnesses said that Brown cut off the patient’s right foot on May 27 without permission from a doctor or the patient.

“Brown had no doctor’s order to conduct an amputation. She stated that she did not have any authorization to remove VICTIM’s foot. Brown did not have VICTIM’s permission to amputate his foot. Administrators of the nursing home agreed that it was outside of the scope of Brown’s practice to conduct such a procedure and a doctor’s order was necessary prior to any amputation,” according to the criminal complaint.

A nurse later told police that Brown said she intended to preserve and display the foot, according to KSTP.

Kevin Larson, the administrator and CEO of Spring Valley Senior Living and Health Care, said Brown is no longer employed with them.

Brown is facing two felony charges of abuse of an elderly person and mayhem, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison but could be higher because the victim is an older person, WQOW said.