TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Patient's body found in stairwell

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 7:42 p.m.
 

SAN FRANCISCO — A patient who disappeared from her room in San Francisco's main hospital more than two weeks ago has been identified as the woman found dead this week in a stairwell at the facility, authorities said on Wednesday as they continued to investigate how she got there and what caused her death.

San Francisco General Hospital Chief Medical Officer Todd May said officials were awaiting confirmation of the woman's identity from the medical examiner's office. But he said hospital officials had enough information to conclude it was 57-year-old Lynne Spalding.

“What happened at our hospital is horrible,” a visibly emotional May said at a news conference. “We are here to take care of patients, to heal them, to keep them safe. This has shaken us to our core. Our staff is devastated.”

The San Francisco Sheriff's Department provides security at the public hospital, which has more than 400 beds and serves about 100,000 patients a year.

Sheriff's officials do not know how long Spalding had been in the stairwell, which is part of a fire exit that has an alarm on it, is locked from the outside and exits onto hospital grounds, Assistant Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said.

She was admitted to San Francisco General Hospital for an infection on Sept. 19 and was reported missing from her room there two days later.

Miyamoto said a member of the hospital's engineering staff found Spalding on Tuesday — 17 days after she disappeared — while conducting a routine quarterly check.

“All of us are committed to learning what happened and ensuring it never happens again,” Miyamoto said.

David Perry, a friend of Spalding's who is acting as a spokesman for her family, called the news a “nightmare” and said city officials have a lot of explaining to do. Spalding's relatives and friends spent days “scouring the streets of San Francisco with flyers because we were under the assumption that San Francisco General had been searched and Lynne was not here,” Perry said.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Secret Service chief resigns after security lapses
  2. West Virginia has tallied 45,500 storage tanks so far
  3. Murder charges dropped against sergeant who shot 2 unarmed Iraqi boys
  4. Threat leads to evacuation of Sandy Hook school
  5. MIT: Global Energy Use, CO2 May Double By 2100
  6. Weather extremes linked to global warming
  7. Obama says U.S. wrong about Islamic State threat
  8. California becomes 1st state to ban plastic bags
  9. Feds say $100M in data hacked
  10. Chicago flights resume after fire delayed travel in Pittsburgh, elsewhere
  11. Security whips up service problems at CIA Starbucks
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.