Source: Worker saw unconscious woman in SF General stairwell

Lynne Spalding's body was found in a stairwell after she was reported missing from her hospital bed almost two and a half weeks before.
October 21, 2013 11:12:49 PM PDT
The family of a woman whose body was found at San Francisco General Hospital weeks after she went missing, responded Monday to a report that an employee saw an unconscious woman -- presumably Lynne Spalding -- lying at a stairwell one week before her body was discovered.

Spalding's body was found Oct. 8 in a stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital. She was reported missing from her bed almost two and a half weeks earlier. At the time, Spalding was being treated for an infection.

Now, a reliable source tells ABC7 News that one week before Spalding's body was discovered, a hospital worker saw a woman, who appeared to be unconscious, lying at the same stairwell and that he stepped over her twice.

Spalding's family is outraged about the new revelation.

"I think what this tells us is what didn't happen in the hospital," family spokesperson David Perry said. "What should have happened, immediate care and assistance for someone who's laying on a stairwell."

According to ABC7's source, the hospital employee told a nurse what he had seen and that the nurse than contacted the sheriff's department, which provides security at the hospital. It's unclear whether a deputy responded to that call and physically checked the stairwell. It's also unknown whether Spalding was still alive when the orderly found her.

The sheriff's office declined to comment on the report, saying the investigation was still ongoing.

The hospital released a statement that said: "It is committed to finding out exactly what happened so that it will never happen again."

The cause of Spalding's death has not been determined, but authorities do not suspect foul play.