Woman found dead in gym bathroom 2 days after entering

Woman found dead in gym bathroom 2 days after entering”

A 78-year-old woman was found dead two days after she entered a health club in west suburban Burr Ridge, and the family wants answers.

Patricia Austin, 78, of Chicago, was found in a bathroom stall just before 8 p.m. July 14 at Lifetime Fitness, said Marc Loftus, Burr Ridge deputy police chief. Police said the 78-year-old's membership card showed she entered the club July 12, but her auto remained in the parking lot and surveillance video never showed her leaving the building.

"You make sure the club is empty before you close the club and when you think you've assured that it's empty and you see a auto parked right in the handicapped stall, how do you not say to yourself, "Wait we missed somebody, somebody's still inside the club"?"

According to the Chicago Tribune upon returning to the bathroom after her workout she noticed the feet were still there and raised the alarm.

The employee went into the restroom, received no response from the patron, and went underneath the stall and found Patricia Austin, Loftus said. Employees then called for help and administered CPR until police and paramedics arrived. It appeared that she had been dead for days.

An autopsy showed she died from cardiovascular disease, according to WGN. An employee reportedly told police that the stall may have gone unchecked because it was deemed out of order, and that it is not uncommon for members to be using the restrooms while staff members are cleaning.

Attorneys for Austin's son were scheduled to discuss the case on Wednesday. Austin also declined to comment Tuesday.

After interviewing staff, the company couldn't confirm how long Austin had been in the stall before she was found, Thunstrom said Tuesday. As a large facility with several thousand members visiting daily, it is not uncommon for bathroom stalls to be occupied as staff conducts their cleaning protocol.

"We are terribly saddened by this tragedy and continue to have our heartfelt thoughts and prayers with the family".

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