The head of a state-run psychiatric hospital and a security guard have been removed from their jobs after a patient escaped Sunday, then killed himself hours after he was brought back, New Jersey officials said yesterday.
Two other hospital employees were also suspended, officials said.
Latanya Wood El has been with the state Department of Human Services for 25 years and had been chief executive of Ancora Psychiatric Hospital since 2000. Human Services spokeswoman Ellen Lovejoy said Wood El was being reassigned. It was not clear what her new duties might be.
Greg Roberts, the assistant director of state hospital management, became the acting CEO at the Camden County hospital.
Ancora, the biggest state psychiatric hospital with about 760 patients, has seen two high-profile patients walk away in the past three months.
Both William Enman and De-Witt Crandell Jr. ended up there after being found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.
Enman, who killed his roommate and his roommate's 4-year-old son more than 30 years ago, walked away in September. He was found on the grounds of the hospital two days later.
Crandell, who killed his parents with a butcher knife in 1996, walked away on Sunday.After he was found and was returned to Ancora, two employees were assigned to be within two arms' length of him at all times, Lovejoy said.
But he went into a bathroom and hanged himself with a sheet around 3 a.m.
"In this case, they didn't notice he was in the bathroom," Lovejoy said.