Nurse in Duchess Kate Hoax Dead in Apparent Suicide, Local Radio DJ Reacts

By: Courtesy: CBS News
By: Courtesy: CBS News
Credit: CBS

Credit: CBS

A nurse who was on the receiving end of a hoax call to elicit information about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was found dead Friday in an apparent suicide.

King Edward VII Hospital confirmed the death of Jacintha Saldanha. The hospital said she had been a victim of the call made earlier this week by two Australian radio disc jockeys. They did not immediately say what role she played in the call.

Scotland Yard says officers responded at approximately 9:35 a.m. to reports of a woman found unconscious at an address in central London. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.

Hospital officials said Saldanha was the nurse who answered the initial call from the radio station, not the one who divulged the medical information about the Duchess, Peter Ashcroft, who is handling media relations for the hospital, tells CBSNews.com.

The prank phone call took place early Tuesday and the two radio personalities apologized the following day.

It's a hot topic all across social media Jen Pieper says the DJs should be fired.

"I hope the radio station employees lose their Job's. This was no joke, and now an employee lost her life, as a result of probably fearing her Job loss. Just completely sad," Jen posted on Facebook.

Quentin King disagrees.

"I don't think the people at the radio station should be fired!" Quentin posted on Facebook. "It was her choice to give out the info and her choice to take her own life. This can't be done here in the USA because HIPAA. Sounds like they need some laws there to prevent this."

The two DJs are caught in the middle and one woman is dead.

"Nobody! Nobody would have seen this happen, so who to you blame? Who do you blame?" Matt McKay said.

It put things into perspective for local radio DJ Matt McKay. As host of a popular morning show, he's no stranger to pranks and jokes.

"The way that I always look at every bit that I do on the air is what do I want the outcome to be, how do I want people to feel from this bit," McKay said.

For McKay it's about community not notoriety. He'd rather walk the line than push the envelope.

"I try to do entertainment for the community, not to grab the communities attention in the negative manner, push the envelope. I'm not trying to do that. I'm trying to be a part of the community, build the community up, make the community feel good," McKay said.

No matter what side people take, they agree on one thing, the tragedy of the story.

"The unfortunate part, I think everybody can feel if they've lost someone in their life," McKay said.

Whether or not the joke had anything to do with the nurse's death is still under investigation.

As far as social media is concerned. It was a deadly prank.

John Lofthouse, Chief Executive of King Edward VII Hospital, said in a statement: "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague."

A St. James's Palace spokesman said, "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."


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