San Francisco police are asking for the public’s help in locating a man who reported someone in a stairwell at SF General just days before missing patient Lynne Spalding was found there.
According to hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan, the man made the report to a supervisor on Oct. 4 after he was locked out of a fifth-floor exterior stairwell himself. After he got back into the hallway by banging on the door, the unidentified man told the supervisor, Kagan said, that he saw someone lying down or sleeping a floor down from him.
"He said, 'Oh by the way, it looks like there is someone down further down on the stairwell, maybe asleep, not sure, " Kagan said on Wednesday, recalling what the man told the supervisor. "That isn't completely out of bounds of what could happen. Sometimes we do have people who come in looking for shelter."
The supervisor then called sheriff's deputies to come check that out, Kagan said.
But the body of 57-year-old Spalding wasn't found in that stairwell until Oct. 8. And a sheriff's spokesman told NBC Bay Area the agency is trying to confirm who checked into what.
Spalding had been admitted for treatment of a bladder infection on Sept. 21, and vanished from her room two days later.
Investigators say the details are somewhat confusing, but it appears the man may have worked there.
He may have had a UCSF name badge on and possibly been a resident. Now, authorities are sorting through hundreds of hospital IDs to determine who it might have been.
The man in question is described as Asian, in his 30s, about 5 feet 8, wearing a blue dress shirt and possibly a tie. He was also wearing "hospital identification," said a bulletin distributed by police.