Coroner's inquest into death of woman at Riverview

A coroner
A coroner's inquest will investigate the death of Patricia Donna Reed at Riverview Hospital in February 2011.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO

A coroner's inquest will be held into the death of Patricia Donna Reed, a Riverview Hospital patient whose body was found on the grounds five days after she went missing.

Reed, 59, had been involuntarily committed to the hospital under the Mental Health Act. She was reported missing on Feb. 9, 2011. Searchers combed the 244-acre grounds but did not find her.

Five days later she was discovered in a ditch in a wooded area.

At the time, Lynn Cook, the operating officer at Riverview, said there would be an investigation into what went wrong and how the hospital could prevent similar incidents in the future.

Cook said hospital staff conduct a search in three stages: checking the patient's room, building and programming areas where he or she spends time; having security personnel search the grounds; and notifying police as well as friends and family.

Reed's sister, Judy Johnston, told CBC there was "clear negligence" on the part of the hospital.

The week-long inquest is expected to take place starting Dec. 3. Regional coroner Vince Stancato and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding the death.





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