Orderly Reported Unconscious Woman’s Body in Calif. Hospital’s Stairwell

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco General Hospital employee reported seeing an unconscious woman in a stairwell at the facility, a week before authorities discovered the body of a missing patient in the same location.

Police found the body of Lynne Spaulding, 57, on Oct. 8, two weeks after the patient disappeared from her room on Sept. 21. Two days prior to her disappearance, Spaulding checked herself into the hospital for a bladder infection. Her family immediately contacted authorities after Spaulding vanished, believing she had wandered out of the hospital, confused because of her medication.

An orderly told a nurse that he found a body on a stairwell on Oct. 1, prompting the nurse to contact the proper authorities. It is unclear if Spaulding was already dead at the time the orderly found her, The San Francisco Gate reports.

The Sheriff’s Department, which provides security at San Francisco General, has not been able to determine how police responded to the incident. It is believed that either no deputy responded to the stairwell or that a deputy was dispatched to the wrong location.

Hospital officials are currently reviewing the facility’s safety and security protocols, while law enforcement continues to investigate Spaulding’s death. It is unclear how she got to the stairwell or what caused her death.

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