New York Times/1868/A Mysterious Case
A Mysterious Case. A Missing Daughter Found Dead In a Private Lying-In Hospital. The Case in the Hands of the Coroner. A rather singular case of death occurred yesterday morning, in the private Lying-in Hospital of Dr. H. D. Grindle, at No. 6 Amity-Place, which is surrounded with considerable mystery and suspicion. It appears that Mr. Henry Lattin, aged about 50 years, and a resident of Farmingdale, L. I., had a daughter named Susannah, aged 21, who formerly resided with Andrew Wood, her cousin, in Williamsburg, where she worked. In the month of April last she left home to visit a brother at Glen Cove, where her father saw her on the 13th of that month. Another sister fell ill and died at the parent's residence, when Susannah was sent for, and discovered to be missing, as the brother at Glen Cove had not seen her for nearly three weeks, and supposed her to be home with her parents. One of Mr. Lattin's sons also resides in Brooklyn, near Fulton-street, and he received a visit from Susannah in the month of May, about a month after her disappearance from Glen Cove. His wife procured Susannah's clothing from her mother, expecting that the wayward girl would remain with them for some time. A few days after Susannah received her wardrobe she again disappeared, and was supposed to have come over to New York. No trace could be gained regarding the girl's residence or hiding place until Wednesday last, when Mr. Lattin received by express, in a roundabout way, the following brief and startling letter: Yours truly, E. Daun. … P. S. Take the Fulton-street cars at the ferry and they will take you to the street. E. Daun.
The sorrowing parents at once started for New York and arrived Dr. Grindle's house, only to find that their daughter was dead, and that they would be compelled to wait until a coroner's inquest had been held before they could obtain possession of the remains. Notice was sent to Dr. John Beach, at his residence on Thursday night that the deceased was in a dying and unconscious condition, so neither he or Coroner Rollins could obtain her ante-mortem statement. The coroner yesterday proceeded to make some inquiries is the case, the patient expired before he reached the house, when he was informed by Daun, who it appears is a medical student under Dr. Grindle, that the deceased was admitted by the doctor about six weeks ago, under the name of Smith, and three weeks after her arrival she gave birth to a full grown child, which was born alive, and adopted out that same day to an unknown lady, who left no clue to her residence behind her. The mother, Susannah Lattin, progressed favorably until some ten or twelve days ago, when young Daun and his associate student became alarmed at the appearance of what seemed to them typhoid fever symptoms, and in the absence of Dr. Grindle, who is in the West, they called in Dr. Dorn, who has an office on Bleecker-street, near by. The physician attended Ms. Lattin until three days before death, when he summoned Dr. Finnell, of West Houston-street. The latter at once told the patient she had better inform her relatives of her whereabouts and danger, which was done by Daun in the letter given above. Neither Dr. Dorn nor Dr. Finnell appear to have asked deceased any questions regarding her treatment in the house before or since her confinement, and no one took the necessary steps to have her statement taken down by the coroner. A post-mortem examination of the remains of the, deceased woman was held yesterday afternoon by Drs. John Beach and C.C. Terry, when they failed to find any trace of typhoid fever, though they had difficulty in satisfying themselves that death had resulted from inflammation of the womb, though they were, of course, unable to say whether such inflammation was the result of malpractice or not. Such are the alleged facts in this case, as elicited from all the parties concerned, and they only tend to throw additional mystery over the death of the deceased, rather than explain it. An inquest will be commenced today at the fifteenth precinct police station, a jury having been impaneled and the police are endeavoring to obtain certain witnesses deemed necessary and desirable by the coroner.