Body was in Derriford Hospital car park for two days
Police are investigating how the body an elderly man may have been left for up to two days slumped over the steering wheel of his car – at Derriford Hospital car park.
Police have confirmed they were alerted by paramedics shortly after 11am on Saturday, May 5 after the body of a man was found in a red Ford Fiesta in the hospital's car park.
The 79-year-old man – who has not been named by police – is believed to have travelled to the hospital to keep an appointment on the preceding Thursday.
It is understood initial reports suggest his body may have lain undisturbed until he was discovered on the following Saturday.
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The man was believed to have been from the Leigham area of the city.
His next of kin have been informed.
A post mortem examination of the man's body is expected to be carried out in the next few days and a file prepared for the Plymouth coroner ahead of an inquest.
A police spokesman said: "The deceased man is believed to be in his late seventies and was from the Plymouth area.
"Detectives do not believe this is a suspicious death at this time.
"An investigation is being carried out and police are liaising with the coroner."
Investigators have seized the car and are currently studying CCTV footage from the car park in an attempt to discover the circumstances surrounding the man's death.
A spokesperson for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We can confirm that the Trust notified the authorities following the discovery of the body of a deceased man in a parked car at Derriford Hospital on Saturday 5 May.
"The car was parked in a disabled parking area and was displaying a valid disabled badge. Disabled users have unlimited parking time on site and so do not need to display a ticket.
“The gentleman did attend a recent appointment at the hospital but it is not known when he returned to his car. All CCTV has been passed to the police and therefore we cannot say with any certainty how long he had been in his car.
“When the gentleman was discovered, the Trust’s emergency response team attended and subsequently paramedics and the police were called. Unfortunately the gentleman was deceased and his death is now subject to a Coroner’s investigation."
The Herald contacted VINCI Park UK, awarded a seven-year multi-million pound contract to provide parking, security and grounds maintenance service at Derriford Hospital from January 1 this year, and they have released this statement: “Our sympathies are with this gentleman’s family and we are doing everything we can to assist with the ongoing investigation.”
Detectives investigating the matter said they are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the car park between Thursday and Saturday last week and seen an elderly man in or near a red Ford Fiesta. Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting police log number 283 of 5/5/12.