Missing woman found dead on hospital premises
New York citizens have followed a case with interest where an English woman disappeared from the San Francisco General Hospital, only to be found dead more than two weeks later in a rarely used exterior stairwell. The woman had checked herself in for routine treatment for a bladder infection but then had mysteriously disappeared from her room without a trace on Sept. 19. A citywide effort had begun to find her, plastering San Francisco with flyers and leaflets and local police departments had joined in the search.
The quest came to an end on Oct. 8, when one of the engineering staff at the hospital did a routine quarterly check on a disused exterior stairwell designed for use as a fire exit. It was there that they found the woman's dead body. It is unknown at this time how she came to be in the stairwell, as it has automatic fire alarms on all entrances and opens only to the outdoors. It is also not yet understood why the hospital did not check the stairwell when she was reported missing.
Although no official cause of death has yet been released, authorities have given no reason to suspect foul play. Slip and fall accidents are common on stairwells, especially with patients under heavy medication. It is also unknown how long it took the woman to die. Since the stairwell is isolated and rarely traveled it is quite possible that she was injured, unable to call for assistance and suffered needlessly before her death.
The pain and suffering felt by the woman's friends and family is beyond comprehension. There are many questions to be answered by the San Francisco General Hospital, ranging from how she got into the stairwell without triggering the alarm to why the hospital did not thoroughly search its own grounds after she disappeared. The survivors of anyone who has lost a loved one to a facilities accident would be well advised to contact a lawyer for helpful advice.