Remains identified as disabled man who left hospital - KCTV5

Remains identified as disabled man who left hospital

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EASTERN JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said remains found along the Little Blue Trace Trail in eastern Jackson County belonged to a man last seen when he left an Independence hospital.

Christopher Porter, 28, disappeared Feb. 1 from Centerpoint Medical Center. His family had posted on KCTV5's Facebook page their unhappiness that hospital staff allowed Porter to leave without a ride from a family member or medication for his seizures.

Porter suffered brain damage and had the mentality of a 10- to 12-year-old child, authorities said.

The sheriff's office said there is no foul play suspected in Porter's death.

On June 25, hikers discovered skeletal remains of a human hand while walking along the trail. Eight days later, a fisherman discovered a shoe with remains of a human foot inside.

The trail is downstream from the hospital.

Porter's stepfather, George French, said the family has many unanswered questions, including how he wound up on the trail.

"We know to know if he had a seizure and fell in the water," French said. "Any kind of closure would be better than nothing."

Citing privacy laws, Centerpoint will not tell the family what Porter was treated for or whether anyone checked him out.

"They told us he had been there and had been treated for something then released," French said. "But they would not allow us any more information due to the fact that he was an adult and they have what's called HIPPA law."

The family said they are unaware of anyone who checked Porter out.

"We don't know whether he just walked out of the hospital or if he called somebody when he got out of the hospital," French said. "We just do not know."

French said Porter received threats in the past and the family is concerned that foul play was involved in his death. He said he did not want to publicly accuse anyone.

"But if somebody did something, we need to know," French said. "My wife has been just going through hell over this."

Centerpoint declined to discuss Porter's specific case. The hospital said policy is to discharge someone not going to another medical facility into the care of a family member or significant other.

Porter lived in a basement apartment at his father's home. He was allowed to come and go as he pleased. A guardianship had not been set up for him.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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