October 9th, 2013
08:24 AM ET

Woman Found Dead In Hospital Stairwell Believed To Be Missing Patient

She checked herself into a hospital 17 days ago for a bladder infection. But nobody could've predicted it would end like this.

When Lynne Spalding went missing from San Francisco General Hospital, her friends frantically searched and left messages on a Facebook page to keep each other hopeful.

On Tuesday, the messages on the "Find Lynne" Facebook pageturned from hope to anger. A body was found in an exterior stairwell of the hospital, and a law enforcement source says it is believed to be Spalding, CNN's Dan Simon reports.

How could this be? Spalding's friends had searched throughout San Francisco, in alleys and shelters, handing out hundreds of fliers.They wondered whether the woman, dazed by powerful medication, was wandering around somewhere.

"So we have a lot of questions as her family and friends," said David Perry, a Spalding family spokesman. "Did anyone see her leave the room? Did she leave alone? Is there videotape of Lynne leaving the hospital or wandering the halls?"

All who looked for Spalding, 57, who has two adult children, assumed the hospital had been searched thoroughly.

"Dumbfounded that they didn't find her for two weeks?! Where the hell were they looking?!" Liz Kennedy wrote on the "Find Lynne" website.

"I honestly believe there should be an investigation into how the hospital areas were not thoroughly checked by the staff," another poster named Sunil Raj wrote.

Hospital officials and police say they are investigating. The hospital says it has no idea how the body ended up in the rarely-used staircase.


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