D.C.

St. Elizabeths patient leaves hospital grounds without authorization, but later returns

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Officials at St. Elizabeths Hospital say a patient walked away from the facility when a security guard failed to ask her for identification, but later returned.

The Washington Post reports that officials say 36-year-old Julia Barber, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2005 drowning of her 6-year-old son, left the psychiatric facility Saturday morning. Barber returned on her own on Sunday night. She is the third patient to leave without authorization since February.

D.C. Department of Behavioral Health spokeswoman Phyllis Jones says Barber had an hour of "ground privileges," allowing her to walk around the campus with a security escort, but she walked out the Alabama Avenue southeast exit. Jones says the security officers who failed to check Barber's identification was fired.

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