Psychiatric Patient on Involuntary Hold Leaves County Facility

Authorities Deem Young Woman Not ‘At Risk,’ Launch Limited, Unsuccessful Search

Saturday, March 16, 2013
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Authorities have confirmed that a patient placed on an involuntary hold at the county’s Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) walked away Thursday morning without authorization and has not been found since. The patient, reportedly a young woman, had been placed in the PHF unit because at the time of admission she was deemed a “threat to herself or to others.”

But based on information provided by PHF caregivers, Sheriff’s deputies determined this was no longer the case, and she was not deemed “at risk.” That’s the designation required to trigger a helicopter search. Sheriff’s deputies worked in cooperation with California Highway Patrol officers to find the missing patient but without success.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover said medical privacy laws prevented her office from disclosing much about the incident. She did say the missing woman was wanted for violating her probation for a couple of misdemeanor vandalism charges. Hoover stressed that the missing PHF patient “walked away” and did not “escape.” Hoover also said there was no information to confirm accounts that the missing PHF patient walked across Highway 101 shortly upon her release.

Hoover did verify there were reports of a woman crossing the freeway at about the same time as the PHF patient went missing. She said she could not confirm if the two incidents involved different people or not.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Whether she walked or ran she still escaped!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 16, 2013 at 5:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll be sure to be on the lookout for her.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 17, 2013 at 4:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Does that mean if an Inmate walks away from the Jail before release, that's the same as "Walked Away" and not "Escaped", by the definition of the county’s Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF)? I mean the Jail and the PHF are both County agencies and all, don't they share the same definitions?

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2013 at 6:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Seems like the Sheriffs Department don't really care at all maybe they should just let everyone out and quit their jobs. We could all become armed and go back to the way things used to be.

Byrd (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2013 at 8:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's all because of the sequester!

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2013 at 9:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You cannot "walk away" from the PHF. It is a locked facility with a patio that has a 15 foot fence. Someone had to let her out.

taz (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2013 at 9:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Taz is right. There is no way a patient can walk away from the PHF unit. If she was no longer a danger to herself or others, she should have been released before she escaped.

buckwheat (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

She went over the fence, story I heard but someone might have forgot to lock up...15 Feet along way to climb. What if she would have caused a fatal accident running out on the freeway like that of course cops are not going to take responsblity for that.

Byrd (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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