Authorities Find Missing Hospital Patient in Canyon

SAN DIEGO — Search and rescue officials discovered the body of a University of California, San Diego Medical Center (UCSDMC) patient, who wandered away from the facility, in a canyon on Friday.

Thomas Vera, 58, was awaiting surgery at the hospital when he left the facility’s premises on May 27. He was last seen at 6 a.m. that morning, NBC 7 reports.

Authorities found Vera’s body at the bottom of Palm Canyon, which is a mile away from the hospital, four days later. Search and rescue officials said that a healthy man could have survived for a week in the rough canyon terrain; however, since Vera was injured, it was more difficult for him to endure.

It is unclear how many patients have walked away from UCSDMC like Vera did.

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