Bergen hospital investigating how a mentally ill patient escaped

The Bergen Regional Medical Center is investigating how a mentally ill patient escaped from its facility.

A spokesperson for the center says a patient from the Mentally Ill Chemical Addition unit left the hospital without authorization Tuesday. He also says that person had only been in the facility for 24 hours.

Bergen County Freeholders were contacted about the incident at a meeting Wednesday night. One freeholder says the patient who escaped committed suicide shortly after leaving. However, hospital officials cannot confirm that the person who left the medical center was the same person who committed suicide.

The center is located on East Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus. Many patients at the center receive treatment for a wide range of mental illnesses.

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