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Man with dementia found dead in woods after being released from Piedmont Hospital

The family of William Bowles is fighting for answers and change.

NEWNAN, Ga. — A man with severe dementia was found dead in the woods near Piedmont Newnan hospital on Saturday after being released. His family said they were never notified.

William Bowles' family took him to the hospital last Tuesday for a mental health evaluation, but when his daughter called hours later, they said he'd been released.

"I told everyone over and over again, he doesn't know who he is," Jennifer Conseleya, his daughter, said. "He has dementia; he's not safe."

The family reached out to 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross after word of Bowles' release, asking her to post a photo of Bowles on social media. She posted it and Coweta County Sheriff's Office issued a Mattie's Call. People shared the post hundreds of times and a search party was formed.

Bowles' family said the hospital would not release surveillance video to the sheriff's office for two days - so they didn't have a lead about where he might have gone after leaving the hospital.

"If they would have given us the video the first day when we told him he was missing from there, it would have been a hot trail," she said.

Ultimately Bowles was found dead five days later, about a quarter-mile in a creek behind the hospital.

"Please make sure that these people are being released with people who can take care of them, so other people aren't feeling the pain that we are feeling," she said. 

Newnan Piedmont released a statement to 11Alive about the incident saying:

"We extend our sympathies regarding this heartbreaking loss. We will continue to work with the appropriate authorities in any ongoing inquiries."


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