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State report released on killer who walked away from adult foster care

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - We now know what happened in the moments after an admitted killer walked away from an adult foster care home in Kalamazoo.

Newschannel 3 broke the news in November when police said Stephen Lenich left Beacon Residential Services without his schizophrenia medication.

In 2000, Lenich admitted to beating his grandfather to death with a hammer, but he was put under psychiatric care instead of prison.

A Department of Human Services report just released says the overnight employee did not check on Lenich for 2 hours and 20 minutes, then discovered him missing.

Lenich's treatment plan says he must not be unattended for more than an hour.

"Most of the time, they are not safe from themselves, they're wandering somewhere," explained Borgess psychiatrist Mark Kanzawa. "They shouldn't be harmful unless they're in a paranoid state, then they're at risk to others."

Lenich was found by Michigan State Police 14 hours after he left, walking down Sprinkle Road.

Beacon Specialized Living Services, which operates the home, launched its own investigation, agreeing with the state's findings.

That employee has been fired.