World News

Kate Middleton nurse dead in apparent suicide; DJs behind prank go off air

Friday, December 07, 2012

Kate Middleton's ward nurse duped by a prank call was found dead in an apparent suicide, and two radio disc jockeys behind the prank have decided to go off the air indefinitely.

According to a statement released by King Edward VII hospital, Jacintha Saldanha was found dead early Friday. ABC News reports she was found at an address near the hospital. Police say the circumstances of her death are still coming together but are not suspicious.

The hospital had been a target of hoax callers from an Australian radio station Tuesday. 2DayFM radio personalities Michael Christian and Mel Greig called King Edward VII pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. Saldanha was fooled into connecting the call to Middleton's ward, where they were given an update on the Duchess's condition.

"She's sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night, she's been given some fluids, she's stable at the moment,'' the unidentified nurse told the pranksters, adding "I would suggest that any time after 9-o-clock will be suitable to visit. We'll be getting her freshened up."

The prank call had proven deeply embarrassing for the hospital, which is the medical institution of choice for the Royal Family.

The DJs apologized shortly after the prank, and station management said "The have decided that they will not to return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."

Since Saldanha's death, the station's Facebook page has been bombarded with angry comments calling for the two to be fired. One message read, "Blood is on your hands."

In a hospital statement, officials said Saldanha was a "first class nurse" who had worked at the hospital for four years.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha," a spokesman from St. James Palace said in a statement. "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," the statement said.

The Duchess of Cambridge left King Edward VII hospital with Prince William Thursday smiling and holding a bouquet of yellow roses.

Police have not released any information in regards to the cause of her death. Saldanha leaves behind a husband and two children.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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prince william, kate middleton, world news, carlos granda
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