Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has made a statement regarding an Idaho man who was hospitalized and released on Thursday before allegedly killing his pregnant wife and stealing his 10-month-old baby, who was subsequently found dead.
Best, 48, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, Kali Randall, and her unborn child. According to police, Best also abducted their baby, Zeke Best. The 10-month-old died as well, and the cause of death has not been disclosed.
“We are heartbroken by the tragedy that has rocked our community in recent days, and we join many in our area in extending our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of Kali and Zeke,” Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center administrators said in a statement released Tuesday.
Although federal privacy regulations make it illegal for the hospital to reveal a patient’s diagnosis or treatment, the medical center verified Friday that Best was seen by doctors and released after being evacuated by ambulance from the Swan Valley General Store.
A naked Best can be seen slouching on the store counter near to the cash register and grabbing a cigarette before being led out of the building.
It’s unclear how long Best was at the hospital or what kind of care he received, but according to court documents, Best reportedly shot and killed Randall around 11:50 p.m. Thursday at their Victor home.
He was later discovered east of Idaho Falls, “naked and making odd statements,” according to law police. The infant’s body was discovered nearby as well.
“Like all hospitals, we follow specific standards of care when we assess and treat individuals, including those with behavioral health concerns,” the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center statement says. “Idaho law limits law enforcement, hospitals, and health care providers from placing individuals on a protective custody hold unless specific clinical criteria (are) met. When these factors are not present or apparent at the time of the care process, hospitals cannot legally hold a patient against their or their family’s wishes.”
When Best appeared in court via Zoom on Monday, he was not wearing a shirt. He was fidgety, ran his hands through his hair, scratched his face, and even sobbed. Judge Jason Walker granted the defense’s request for a mental competency evaluation for Best. The prosecution made no objections.