This morning at San Francisco General Hospital, a hospital employee discovered a woman's body inside a "rarely used" exterior stairwell. Although authorities have yet to confirm the woman's identity, sources say the body is that of 57-year-old Lynne Spalding, who was thought to have gone missing from the hospital over two weeks ago on September 21st.
According to NBC Bay Area, "all signs indicate" that the body is Spalding's. ABC7 also reports that they have confirmed the woman's identity. S.F. General, meanwhile, issued a statement saying, "We do not know the identity of this person and have no further information at this time. We are cooperating with the investigation and will provide another update as information develops."
Spalding was admitted to be treated for an infection in late September and was in the hospital for two days before she disappeared. Although she was being attended to by nurses every fifteen minutes, Spalding was suddenly missing when one of the nurses came to check on her. Hospital staff believe Spalding, who was described as frail and possibly disoriented due to medication, left the hospital on her own power. Spalding's apartment is less than a mile away from S.F. General, but in the days since her disappearance flyers with her description have popped up everywhere from the Mission to Divisadero.
The body was found near the fourth floor around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning on a stairwell that is normally only used as a fire escape. The cause of death and how the body got there is still unknown, but the location is currently being treated as a crime scene. The Sheriff's department is currently leading the investigation along with help from San Francisco Police. According to David Perry, a spokesman for Spalding's family, the police have been "incredibly helpful" during the two-week search for Lynne, but hospital officials have been less forthcoming.
Update, 6 p.m.: The Mercury News is also reporting that the deceased is Lynne Spalding. S.F. General and SFPD have released no further statements at this point.
[NBC Bay Area]