According to ABC News on Tuesday, the body of a woman was found today in a stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital and authorities are investigating whether it was that of Lynn Spalding, who was reported missing from her room more than two weeks ago.
The body was found by an employee about 10 a.m. in an exterior stairwell on the fourth floor, said hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan. The area was treated as a crime scene by the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, which handles law-enforcement matters at the hospital, with the assistance of San Francisco police, officials said.
Kagan said it has not yet been determined if the body is that of Lynne Spalding, 57, who was last seen in her hospital room at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 21.
The cause of the woman's death is still under investigation, and it was not immediately known how long she had been on the stairwell - which is used as a fire escape - or how she got there. But the incident raised questions about how the missing-persons case was handled by the city-owned hospital, which provides 20 percent of all inpatient care in San Francisco.
Lynne Spalding had been admitted two days before after suffering complications from an infection, and was being checked on every 15 minutes by hospital personnel, Spalding family spokesman David Perry told ABC News last month.
Spalding was on medication that caused her to become disoriented, but Perry said it was strange that she could have disappeared when she was on a 15-minute watch.
"We find it disturbing that someone can go missing from the hospital," he said. "One would think there would be cameras or something."
Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.
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