Hospital officials are refusing to answer questions after two people went missing a day apart from Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Barrington last week. One of them was found dead.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said deputies were called to the hospital, located at 450 Route 22 in unincorporated Barrington, on the evening of July 18.
Michelle Riechers, 61, of Lake in the Hills, had left the hospital before she was discharged.
Riechers was being treated in the emergency department and left on foot.
“There were concerns about the person’s mental state and sheriff’s deputies immediately attempted to locate her,” Covelli said at the time.
Sheriff’s deputies were joined by friends and family of Riechers and a search began.
Lake County Sheriff’s Canine Duke led deputies to the retention bond on the south end of the hospital property.
A sheriff’s drone was deployed and the drone pilot spotted Riechers unresponsive in the water.
Fire personnel were called to the scene around 11:30 p.m. and recovered the woman, several hours after she was reported missing.
They attempted life-saving measures but she was pronounced deceased, Covelli said.
An autopsy showed Riechers’ death was consistent with drowning, the Lake County Coroner’s Office ruled.
The following day, a 35-year-old man was reported missing after he also left the hospital before being discharged.
The man was considered endangered and police were concerned for his wellbeing.
Numerous police departments responded to the area and conducted a search for him.
The man was later found safe in the afternoon on July 19.
A spokesperson for Advocate Aurora Health refused to answer questions from Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
Hospital officials would not say how long it took for the hospital to notify the police in each instance or what steps the hospital was taking to prevent the situation from occurring again.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred on our campus, and relieved that the other individual was found safely,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“We are conducting an internal review, and out of respect for patient privacy, we are unable to share details about either person. We are grateful for the partnership of our first responders, and we refer all inquiries to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department,” the statement said.