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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Board Orders Death Probe

December 03, 1987

A mentally ill woman who was strangled and whose body was dumped in a Hollywood alley last week went uncared for because she just "fell through the cracks of the bureaucracy," according to Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.

Because mental illness required Diane Momsen, 52, to take medication, Hahn said, she could not enroll in alcohol treatment programs. In addition, mental wards refused to hold her against her will.

Supervisors on Tuesday directed the county Department of Mental Health to investigate whether Momsen, who had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and alcoholic, should have been under some other form of county care.

She was killed after apparently wandering away from her Glendale home.

The board action came as it also approved a measure calling on the Legislature to promptly amend state laws that address the problem of caring for the mentally ill who refuse shelter and medical care.

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