November 7th, 2013
01:01 PM ET

Sheriff admits flaws in search for woman found dead in hospital stairwell

How did a hospital lose track of a patient for two weeks?

That patient's family is finally getting some answers and they are troubling - after the body of 57-year-old Lynne Spaldingwas found in a stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital last month - two weeks after she'd disappeared from her room.

Exactly when and how Spalding Ford died remains a mystery. But more clues are surfacing about her final days:

September 19

Spalding Ford, 57, checks into San Francisco General Hospital for a bladder infection.

September 21

A hospital employee calls the sheriff's department in the morning and says Spalding Ford has been missing for 40 minutes, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said.
The caller also describes the patient as African-American - even though the patient is later described as Asian in a sheriff's department log book. The sheriff's department oversees security on the hospital's campus.

Authorities make a perimeter search of the hospital grounds, but deputies didn't immediately classify the woman as a missing person.
Later that day, evening shift deputies stationed at the hospital didn't get briefed about Spalding Ford from the earlier deputies.

September 25
Four days after Spalding Ford's disappearance, the San Francisco Police Department asks the sheriff's department to pull surveillance video to see if there are any images of the patient leaving.


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Filed under: Crime • Justice • News
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Andrew

    someone needs re-training

    November 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply

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