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Questions raised on how unsupervised mental patient escapes from local hospital

By Ariel Mallory

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    MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — The search for a mental health patient who escaped from a local hospital has ended.

John Harris Jr. was a patient at Altapointe under a court order, after being found not guilty by reason of insanity for killing a family member.

Sources tell FOX 10 News Harris was taken to USA Health on Hillcrest by ambulance for a medical emergency Monday.

After being there for several hours unsupervised they say he just walked out.

Harris was later found on Wednesday a short distance down the road at Ascension Providence.

Katrina Frazier with Mobile Police say Harris is the responsibility of Altapointe.

“They took him, Altapointe took him to USA,” Frazier said. “So they didn’t have a guard or anyone standing by and he just decided to walk out of the place.”

In a statement from Altapointe it reads,

“Monday morning we contacted EMS for the patient to be transported to University Hospital. Instead, EMS transported the patient to USA’s free-standing ED on Hillcrest. Our foremost concern is the safety and well-being of our patients. Our policies vary depending on the level of a patient’s care.”

According to court documents Harris has been under Altapointe’s care since 2008.

It says he was placed under their care after being found not guilty by reason of insanity for killing his father John Harris back in 2002.

Mobile Police officials say Harris will be transported back to Altapointe.

As of now, sources don’t know where he spent the nearly 48 hours he was missing.

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