Friday, July 19, 2024

Local police help in search after patient escapes Eastern State Hospital

Eastern State Hospital
(WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20, a patient escaped from Eastern State Hospital.

Meghan McGuire, spokesperson for the facility, said that the hospital contacted Virginia State Police (VSP), James City County Police, City of Williamsburg Police, and William & Mary Police departments.

At approximately 4:26 a.m., VSP was notified by the hospital regarding the patient’s escape. VSP arrived with canine search dogs to assist in locating the patient.

John Heilman, public information officer for the City of Williamsburg Police Department, said that upon receiving a “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) notification, the department’s morning shift searched the city, but were also unable to find the patient. He went on to say that the department is remaining vigilant.

Sergeant Michelle Anaya, spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, described the patient as being a male in his 30s, from the City of Norfolk. However, due to federal and state patient privacy laws, she was unable to elaborate further.

As of 4:00 p.m., the patient has not yet been located.

It is not clear as to who is leading the investigation. However, McGuire says that they are forwarding all leads to Virginia State Police

McGuire said that the hospital will be performing an intensive internal investigation regarding the incident and how it occurred.

She went on to say, “Ensuring the safety of the patients and staff at Eastern State and the surrounding community is critically important. We are grateful to all those who are working to bring about a safe outcome in this case.”

This is a developing story. Keep checking with WYDaily for more information as it becomes available.


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