- (Photo: REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool)
The hospital receptionist who died in an apparent suicide following the now infamous Kate Middleton prank call, has been identified as nurse and mother of two Jacintha Saldanha.
London police reportedly found Saldanha's body at an address near King Edward VII Hospital where she worked at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Friday. She was pronounced dead just minutes later and in a recent statement the hospital spoke out regarding her death.
"It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha. Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII's Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues," the statement obtained by Daily Mail read.
"We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time," the statement went on.
Saldanha's death comes just two days after two Australian DJs made the prank call to the hospital where Middleton, who is pregnant with her first child, was admitted Monday after developing hyperemesis gravidarum.
2Day FM radio hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian posed as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles during the publicized phone call, and were successful in obtaining personal information about Middleton from her nurse.
During the prank call Greig is heard saying "Oh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter?"
Saldanha assumed that she was speaking with the Queen of England and replied "oh yes, just hold on ma'am" before transferring the call to Middleton's personal nurse.
"This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols," John Lofthouse, chief executive at the hospital, said in a statement prior to Saldanha's death.
Lofthouse spoke out again after learning about the suspected suicide. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends," he said.
Lord Glenarthur, Chairman of King Edward VII's Hospital, spoke highly of Saldanha and described her death as "tragic."
"This is a tragic event. Jacintha was a first class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. She will be greatly missed," Glenarthur said.
Police at Scotland Yard have launched a probe into Saldanha's death and they are currently treating the death as "unexplained," according to The Sun UK.