Body in Hospital Stairwell May Be Missing Patient
10/08/2013 AT 07:30 PM EDT
The body of Lynne Spalding, 57, was discovered Tuesday at San Francisco General Hospital where she had been treated for an infection, KGO-TV reports. She'd been missing for almost 18 days.
The hospital did not immediately confirm the identity.
"A woman's body was found in an exterior stairwell on the hospital campus," the hospital said in a statement. "The person is deceased and San Francisco Sheriff's Department is leading the investigation, with assistance of the San Francisco Police Department. We do not know the identity of this person and have no further information at this time. We are cooperating with the investigation and will provide another update as information develops."
Spalding, a mother of two, checked into the hospital just blocks away from her home on Sept. 19 after she'd been losing weight and appeared weak.
She was treated for an infection, given medication and checked by nurses regularly, Spalding family spokesman David Perry previously told PEOPLE. Two days later, she vanished from her bed and an internal investigation was launched.
Perry had said that Spalding, who worked in hospitality sales, was in good health prior to the infection, but was on medication and appeared "very confused" when last seen by her family in the hospital.
On Tuesday, Perry told the Associated Press that he found the discovery in the hospital stairwell disturbing.
"What is happening here today is very distressing, and although we hope that our friend and our colleague Lynne Spalding will come back to us alive and healthy, we're very concerned about this," he said.