His spirit had been dead
In November, while David was staying at a halfway house in Los Angeles, he walked into the ocean in an attempt to drown himself. He was rescued by a life guard and re-admitted to Harbor UCLA on November 7, 1987. The doctors wrote that he was "psychotic, confused and responding to internal stimuli." He was taken off the antidepressants and placed back on the Haldol.
David told the doctors that his spirit had been dead for three months and that it was his duty to take care of the rest of his body, to join them together, and was thinking of this when he tried to commit suicide in the ocean. But he denied hallucinations and suicidal ideations. He was admitted to Camarillo, an Oceanside mental hospital south of Ventura, on November 24.
His time there was rocky. He made an AWOL attempt on December 21, when he was discovered climbing a fence. He explained to his father, "I've been here too long." To his doctors he admitted having suicidal thoughts because he felt helpless about his condition. Sam and Ellen came to visit David on January 8, but when they were let into the locked unit the nurses discovered that David was not there. Sam combed the area searching for him before finally going back home only to find a message saying David had returned to the hospital on his own.
"I just wanted to go for a walk," he said.
Again on February 28 David somehow escaped confinement, this time taking a swim in the ocean before returning. He said he felt "good" on the outside but came back because he "didn't have anyplace to go." A psychological review made in the last week of January revealed depression and "schizophrenic process," but no psychosis or suicidal tendencies. He showed clinical improvement in February and was eventually taken off suicidal observation. On March 16 he was discharged from Camarillo to his sister and guardian, Katie Thomas, and subsequently admitted to the private residential Anne Sippi Clinic.
According to an LAPD Missing Persons Investigation report, David was formally reported missing by an administrator of the Anne Sippi Clinic on April 8. The report lists sources checked as: missing persons, County/USC Medical Center, inmate reception and the coroner.