SF Hospital: Body That of Missing Woman

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Officials at a San Francisco hospital say they have concluded the body discovered in a hospital stairwell was that of a female patient who went missing more than two weeks ago.

San Francisco General Hospital Chief Medical Officer Todd May said at a news conference Wednesday that officials were still awaiting confirmation on the identity from the medical examiner's office. But he says hospital officials have enough information to conclude it is 57-year-old Lynne Spalding's body.

Spalding was being treated for an infection at the hospital when she went missing Sept. 21. Her body was discovered Tuesday.

Sheriff's officials say they don't know she ended up in the stairwell or how she died.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A woman's body has been discovered in a rarely used stairwell at a hospital where a female patient went missing more than two weeks ago, officials said.

Authorities did not immediately say whether the woman found Tuesday at San Francisco General Hospital was Lynne Spalding, 57, a native of England who was being treated for an infection at the hospital when she disappeared from her room on Sept. 21.

Police, coroner and sheriff's officials were investigating the death of the woman found at about 10 a.m. by an employee in the exterior stairwell that is used as a fire exit, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.

It's not clear how long the woman was there, or how she got there.

"It's very concerning," Kagan said. "We're distressed and don't know what happened. It's our top priority to find out."

Spalding was last seen two days after she was admitted to the hospital. Friends say she was very thin and frail, was on medication and probably very confused. A missing persons report was filed with police, who have been investigating her disappearance.

David Perry, a spokesman for Spalding's family, said he found the discovery disturbing.

"What is happening here today is very distressing, and although we hope that our friend and our colleague Lynne Spalding will come back to us alive and healthy, we're very concerned about this," Perry said.


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