Body found on stairwell in US

The body of a Lynne Spalding, originally from Peterlee, has been discovered in a hospital in San Francisco.

American police admit flawed search for Peterlee woman

Lynne Spalding.

Police in San Francisco have apologised for a "slow and incomplete" search for a missing County Durham woman.

Lynne Spalding, 57, originally from Peterlee, lived in the US for 23 years. She disappeared from her room at San Francisco General Hospital on September 21.

She was last seen in bed at 10:15am that day by a nurse and was found by a member of the hospital's engineering staff on a routine check 17 days later on a stairwell.

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has apologised for the flaws in the search for Ms Spalding.

He said Ms Spalding was once described as a black woman and later described as an Asian, when in fact she was a white British woman.

The sherrif also said the search started on September 30, but only half the facility's stairwells were checked.

He added that an attempt to review video footage from the hospital failed because of hardware problems.

Peterlee woman 'not attacked' at US hospital

Lynne Spalding, 57, was found in a stairwell at a hospital in San Francisco.
Lynne Spalding, 57, was found in a stairwell at a hospital in San Francisco. Credit: David Perry

A British woman from County Durham who was found dead in a hospital stairwell in America more than two weeks after going missing was not the victim of an attack, a family spokesman has said.

Lynne Spalding, 57, originally from Peterlee, disappeared from her room at San Francisco General Hospital on September 21.

The mother-of-two, who had lived in the US for 23 years, was last seen in bed at 10.15am that day by a nurse.

She was found by a member of the hospital's engineering staff on a routine check 17 days after she vanished.

Family spokesman David Perry said the coroner had not yet established a cause or time of death but investigators have ruled out foul play.

San Francisco mayor Ed Lee has announced an independent consultant will investigate the hospital's security and patient safety protocols, the Associated Press reported.

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Mystery of hospital stairwell death

Police in America have promised to do everything in their power to find out what happened to a North East woman who was found dead in a hospital stairwell.

Lynne Spalding, who is originally from Peterlee, had been missing for more than two weeks after leaving her hospital bed in San Francisco General Hospital on September 21st. An investigation is now underway to find out how she died and why she wasn't found sooner.

Staff at San Francisco hospital 'shaken to their core'

Lynne Spalding Credit: David Perry

Lynne Spalding, originally from Peterlee, had lived in America for 23 years and was last seen on September 21 at 10.15am.

15 minutes later she disappeared.

She was found by a member of the hospital's engineering staff on a routine check 17 days after she vanished.

The hospital and sheriff's department conducted a search of the premises and Ms Spalding's friends and relatives spent days searching the streets for her.

Ms Spalding's friend David Perry told Sky News: "We are grieving but that grief is leading to an absolute sense that we must find out the truth, not only for Lynne, but to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.

"She was the very best of England and the United States combined.

"Her loss will be felt greatly, not only in her family but across San Francisco because everyone knew Lynne Spalding here."

Todd May, the San Francisco General Hospital chief medical officer, said: "What happened at our hospital is horrible.

"We are here to take care of patients, to heal them, to keep them safe. This has shaken us to our core. Our staff is devastated."

Ms Spalding arrived at the hospital thin and frail with her children worried about her condition.

She had been treated for two days before she vanished.

Assistant sheriff Paul Miyamoto said: "All of us are committed to learning what happened and ensuring it never happens again."

Family of Lynne Spalding say they are 'stunned' by death

David Perry, a family spokesman, said her family were "stunned" and were enduring a "nightmare".

The hospital and sheriff's department conducted a search of the premises and Ms Spalding's friends and relatives spent days scouring the streets of the California city with flyers.

They said they were "under the assumption San Francisco General had been searched."

Mr Perry said: "Lynne Spalding died alone, in the stairwell, at one of the finest medical institutions in this country.

"I hear that the San Francisco Sheriff's Department initiated a search. Well, evidently it wasn't a very good one. I think there are a lot of questions to be asked."

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Peterlee woman found dead in San Francisco hospital

A woman originally from Peterlee has been found dead in a hospital stairwell in America, more than two weeks after she went missing.

Lynne Spalding, 57, disappeared from her room at San Francisco General Hospital over a fortnight ago after being admitted with an infection.

Officials said they are investigating how she got to the outside stairwell and what caused her death.

David Perry, a friend of Ms Spalding, said the incident was a "nightmare" for her family and demanded answers.

Ms Spalding, who was reportedly thin and frail, arrived at the hospital to be treated for an infection on September 19, and was reported missing from her room two days later.