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.