Family waits for word on missing woman
Published Sunday, July 10, 2011 6:25PM MDT
Authorities continue to search for a missing Edmonton woman, after she disappeared from Alberta Hospital Edmonton five days ago.
Alberta Health Services notified media outlets Saturday evening after 44-year-old Melissa Ekkelenkamp walked away from the facility Wednesday morning.
Ekkelenkamp suffered from manic depressive disorder, and paranoia.
Her family said she called police less than two weeks ago, and officers recognized she was suffering from mental health issues and took her to hospital.
She was originally taken to the Misericordia Hospital, but there was no space for her.
Ekkelenkamp was transferred to Alberta Hospital.
Arlene Vandekamp said her sister appeared to be improving, until the day before she went missing.
"She seemed to be relatively happy there, except for this past Tuesday evening," Vandekamp said in an interview with CTV News Sunday. "She spoke to my mom and at the time said she was not doing so well."
"She asked my mom to pray for her, [and] then she walked away on Wednesday morning."
Ekkelenkamp had been at Alberta Hospital for eight days.
Vandekamp told CTV News her family had been told Melissa was in a locked down area at the hospital, and under supervision.
"She was supposed to be under observation," Vandekamp said. "She shouldn't have been able to just walk away."
Representatives of Alberta Health Services and Edmonton Police Service have not released many details in connection with her case, police have not released a missing persons notice.
Melissa Ekkelenkamp was last seen Wednesday morning at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, wearing jeans.
She is about 5' 10" and weighs 172 pounds.
Anyone with information on Melissa Ekkelenkamp's whereabouts is asked to call police at 780-423-4567.
With files from Kevin Armstrong