Facility Launches Internal Investigation
POSTED: 12:42 PM PST November 21, 2003
SAN LEANDRO, Calif. -- A mental patient in the East Bay is accused of killing her doctor at the John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro.
Friends and co-workers of the victim, Dr. Erlinda Ursua and her family are devastated by the loss.
Doctor Killed In San Leandro
Alameda County Sheriff's Office Lt. Michael Hart said Ursua, "was just very likable ... bubbly personality. She participated with a group of doctors who went to the Philippines to provide free medical care to the needy and underprivileged every year. A wonderful person. An absolute tragedy."
Hart said Ursua, 60, was performing a physical exam on a psychiatric patient when she was attacked. The coroner's report says she died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Rene Pavon, 37, is in custody of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, facing charges in Ursua's death.
According to officials, Pavon was taken to John George Psychiatric Pavilion for a 72-hour psychiatric observation on Tuesday after her sister called police to her home complaining about Pavon.
A staff member at the treatment center realized something was wrong Wednesday afternoon after seeing Pavon walking around in the housing unit with a partially completed medical slip. The staff member knew Pavon was not supposed to have the form and went to the exam room to report the problem. The worker found the badly beaten doctor laying in the room.
Pavon was incoherent when investigators tried to question her, according to Hart. Pavon was taken to the Santa Clara County psychiatric facility.According to officials at John George Psychiatric Pavilion, there was an ongoing effort to increase security at the facility. A task force was formed in July to address security concerns by the staff and the doctors at the facility.
There is an internal investigation at the center as staff members mourn the loss of one of their most loved doctors.
The sheriff's department is also investigating a possible restraining order filed in South Dakota against Pavon.