On January 1st, 2010, an old man mysteriously disappeared from a Beijing hospital, and remained missing despite an extensive search conducted by his family. Nearly one year later, in December 2010, a hospital worker suddenly discovered the man’s mummified remains hidden in the hospital’s sub-basement.
January last year, an elderly couple around 80 years old arrived at Dongfang Hospital (affiliated with Beijing University of Chinese Medicine) for treatment. The husband remained in the waiting room after seeing the doctor while the wife went to pick up their medicine, but when she returned the husband had disappeared without a trace.
The husband had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but his health had never been a large problem in the past, so his wife was determined that he was alive but perhaps lost. However, after extensively searching all of the places that he could’ve possibly gone, she eventually resigned his fate to forever being a “missing person.”
Then, nearly one year later on December 12th 2010, in the hospital’s sub-basement boiler room, a worker discovered a body and immediately raised the alarm. The body had been in the basement so long it had mummified, making it possible to identify it as the missing old man. There were no visible injuries, and though foul play was ruled out, the primary cause of death is yet unknown.
The result of the investigation is, as with many things, a lawsuit. The family sued the hospital for negligent security saying there should’ve been no way for an old man to have access to a hospital’s sub-basement. Furthermore, as only workers are allowed in the basement, the family is upset they were not allowed to search its premises 11 months earlier when he had first gone missing.
The family is asking for 228,000RMB in compensation, though lawyers are still discussing the final amount.