Body found in stairwell at SFGH confirmed as missing woman


May says he has very few answers to explain how 57-year-old Lynne Spalding died. Family and friends are angry and they want answers. They're angry about a lack of communication and they are concerned about the safety of other patients at the hospital.

The big question is how thorough could the search for Lynne Spalding have been, when they found her in the very hospital where she was reported missing.

"We were told a search was done. Well, evidently, it wasn't a very good one," said family spokesperson David Perry.

It was 25 hours from the time San Francisco General Hospital found Spalding's body to the time they officially confirm the news that everyone else already knew. "We are saddened to announce that we believe the body on the hospital campus yesterday morning is that of Lynne Ford, also known as Lynne Spalding," May said Wedenesday.

Spalding was 56, a mother of four, who checked into the hospital on September 19, disappeared on the morning of September 21, and remained missing until a staff member found her body in an outside stairwell Tuesday morning.

"We do not know how she came to be in the stairwell yesterday, how long she had been there, or what caused her death," said Assistant San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.

"This has shaken us to our core. Our staff is devastated," May said.

Neither the hospital staff nor the sheriff's department took questions Wednesday. The briefing consisted only of statements, leaving Spalding's family and friends exasperated.

"A kindergartner could have put together that statement. We all know what was in that statement. A woman's body was found. It's Lynne Spalding. We need answers now," Perry told ABC7 News.

Among answers the hospital omitted was whether there were working video cameras, how many searches it conducted, and how it could search thoroughly and miss the stairwell. When asked the most rudimentary question, what Spalding was wearing when she was found, a hospital spokeswoman insisted she did not know and departed quickly.

"We're not going to take any questions today. Thank you all for coming," hospital spokesperson Rachael Kagan said.

"Hard questions are hard to answer," Perry said.

From now on, the hospital says it will release all information about the case via a telephone hotline. Hotlines, after all, do not take questions.

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