Body of Woman Found in Vehicle Left at Irvine Hospital


A woman was found shot to death Thursday in a vehicle abandoned at the emergency room entrance of the Irvine Medical Center, police said.

A hospital security guard discovered the victim, who appeared to be in her 40s, under a pile of blankets and clothes in the passenger seat of a Toyota Landcruiser about 11:30 a.m., Irvine Police Lt. Sam Allevato said. She had been shot in the head.

Witnesses told police a man in his 30s drove the vehicle to the back of the hospital, opened the door and walked away with the engine running, Allevato said. The man was last seen leaving the parking lot and heading toward Alton Parkway.


An hourlong search using a police helicopter and bloodhounds failed to locate the man, authorities said. Police found footprints that ended at Alton Parkway and Laguna Canyon Road, Allevato said.

“We trailed the suspect as far as we could,” he said. “We think he may have hitchhiked.”

Investigators described the suspect as a bespectacled white man, about six feet tall with brown hair. He was wearing a brown shirt and gray pants.

The vehicle was registered to an address in Huntington Beach, where investigators believe the victim lived. Her identification was withheld pending notification of family members.

A nurse who spotted the vehicle blocking the entrance told a security guard to move it because she didn’t see “anyone going in or coming out,” said Anne Warde, hospital marketing specialist.

The guard “drove it to a parking lot, then found the body while searching for some kind of an identification,” Warde said. “He had been driving with the dead body right beside him and didn’t know it.”

Anyone with information should call Irvine police at (714) 724-7011 or (714) 724-7174.