California officials ID body found in hospital stairwell; patient disappeared two weeks ago

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San Francisco General Hospital has identified the body of a woman found in a stairwell two weeks after the patient disappeared from her room, The Associated Press reported.

Dr. Todd A. May, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said officials were awaiting the confirmation from the medical examiner’s office, but the hospital concluded that the woman is Lynne Spalding, AP reported.

She was admitted to the hospital for an infection on Sept. 19 and was reported missing from her room there two days later, the AP said.

“What happened at our hospital is horrible,” Dr. May said at a news conference, AP reported. “We are here to take care of patients, to heal them, to keep them safe. This has shaken us to our core. Our staff is devastated.”

Ms. Spalding’s family called the news a “nightmare” and said city officials have a lot of explaining to do, said David Perry, a friend of Ms. Spalding’s who is acting as a spokesman for her family, AP reported.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department provides security at the hospital, the AP said.

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