The body of a woman found in a rarely-used stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital was that of a patient who had been reported missing from the facility more than two weeks ago, officials said Wednesday as they tried to determine what went wrong.
The body of Lynne Spalding, 57, was discovered by an employee in an exterior stairwell on the fourth floor of the hospital about 10 a.m. Tuesday, said Dr. Todd May, the hospital’s chief medical officer, at a news conference at which officials declined to take questions from reporters…
Spalding’s 23-year-old daughter was notified earlier Wednesday that officials were fairly confident that the body was that of her mother.
“They feel certain that the body found at San Francisco General Hospital is the body of her mother, Lynne Spalding,” said family spokesman David Perry. “But they do not have 100 percent certainty from the medical examiner.”
The San Francisco medical examiner is trying to determine the cause of Spalding’s death. It was not known how long she had been in the stairwell – which is used as a fire escape – or how she got there, said Assistant Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.
The interior door leading to the stairwell is alarmed and locked from the outside, Miyamoto said, adding the stairwell “is not routinely used by staff, patients or the public.” A member of the hospital engineering staff found the body during a routine quarterly inspection, he said.
The incident has raised questions as to how the missing-persons case was handled by investigators and the city-owned, 598-bed hospital, which provides 20 percent of all inpatient care in San Francisco.
RTFA for pretty sketchy details. A few attempts at what-ifs are as meaningless as I would expect. Serious efforts at forensic investigation are just getting underway. Everything else is guesswork looking for excuses.
The first question needing an answer is – what really constituted a search for this woman in the hospital?