Police are searching for answers in the mysterious death of a Montefiore worker at Weiler Hospital.
Anthony Iuso, 44, of Haight Avenue, according to published reports went to have his finger treated in the emergency department on Thursday, October 1 and was found dead the following Monday inside a locked third-floor bathroom.
As of press time, a representative from the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office explained that no cause had been determined in Iuso’s death and it is still be investigated.
Police had filed a missing person report on Iuso prior to him being discovered inside the hospital bathroom, a fact confirmed by a NYPD spokesman on Friday, October 2.
According to the NYPD spokesman, their investigation into his death is also ongoing. Foul play has not been ruled out.
Reaction in the community ranged from disbelief to outrage upon learning of the incident.
Jeremy Warneke, Community Board 11 district manager, questioned how often the bathrooms at the hospital were cleaned, if Iuso was indeed locked inside of one for five days.
“People want to know what happened,” he said, adding. “Did he fall ill and pass out?”
Al D’Angelo, who sits on the community advisory board for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, expressed disbelief that Iuso was not discovered sooner.
“You have a cleaning crew who are supposed to be doing their jobs,” said D’Angelo. “If the bathroom is occupied, then you come back and clean it when it’s not.”
Tony Signorile, Morris Park Community Association president, also expressed dismay because the incident seemed to suggest that at least some of Einstein Weiler’s staff members were not very attentive.
“I feel for the family and on behalf of the Morris Park Community Association we extend our condolences,” he said, adding. “Someone has to hang for this...something is wrong when a person is missing in a bathroom for five days.”
Signorile said that this incident may be an indicator of broader managerial issues at the hospital especially in light of Legionella found in six of Einstein’s cooling towers.
Legionella was not discovered specifically in any of Weiler’s cooling towers, but the hospital is next door to Einstein, also a Montefiore facility.
“I’m very upset here and I want the elected officials to follow up on this,” he said, adding. “Montefiore supports the community, but this needs to be looked into.”
Silvio Mazzella, who sits on the community advisory board for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said the group had been speaking to the hospital and were requesting meetings regarding Iuso’s death, Legionnaires’ disease and the college’s pending full merger with Einstein.
“I don’t understand that one at all,” he said of Iuso’s death. “(Iuso’s tragic passing) is something they need to explain or be held accountable for.”
Frank Agovino, who is part of Einstein’s community advisory board, said shortly after Iuso was discovered “we just don’t know what happened at the moment” and added that he and the other board members plan to discuss this with the hospital board at a meeting set for later in October.
Montefiore declined to comment further on Iuso’s death aside from an already prepared statement.
“The staff at Montefiore are extremely saddened to learn that one of our employees has passed away and their hearts go out to the family, friends and co-workers. There is an ongoing investigation being conducted by the NYPD and Montefiore regarding Iuso’s death.”
According to published reports, Iuso, the father of an adult daughter, was employed as a maintenance worker at Weiler Hospital and had previously served as an Emergency Medical Technician.