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San Francisco Hospital Says Body That Of Missing Patient

A patient who was last seen in her hospital bed on the morning of September 21, has been found dead in a stairwell at the facility 17 days later.

A patient who disappeared from her room at San Francisco's main hospital more than two weeks ago has been identified as the woman found dead this week in a stairwell at the facility.

A San Francisco General Hospital employee found the body of British-born Lynne Spalding, 57, during a routine, quarterly check of the exterior stairway at the facility on Tuesday, San Francisco Assistant Sheriff Paul Miyamoto told reporters.

"Spalding was admitted to the city-run hospital on September 19 and was last seen in her hospital bed on the morning of September 21, said Todd May, the hospital's chief medical officer.

The sheriff's department claimed to have searched the hospital, while hundreds of friends and relatives handed out leaflets throughout the Bay Area in a vain attempt to find Spalding, said family spokesman David Perry.

"It certainly boggles the mind that while we were searching, Lynne was either dead or dying inside the hospital," Perry told Reuters. "There is something systemically wrong with how this was handled."

An investigation is ongoing.

Spalding leaves a 19-year-old son and a 23-year-old daughter, Perry said.

Having worked in hospitals both large and small in a previous life, the mind boggles.

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