Bedford VA Housing Unit – Veteran Found Dead in Stairwell
A 62 year old patient at Bedford VA Medical Center Housing Unit in Massachusetts was found dead in a stairwell after having been missing since May 8. He was reported as missing to police on May 13. He was found in the same clothes as he was last seen wearing. He name was not released. (WSBTV)
NEW: @MiddlesexDA is investigating after 62-year-old man was found dead in the stairwell of Bedford VA. The man had been last seen at facility on May 8, reported missing on May 13. Sadly, the DA he was found is same clothes he went missing in.
— Kerry Kavanaugh (@KerryKavanaugh) June 12, 2020
The question is, how could this happen?
During the time of the recent lockdown, some of the entrances and exits to the housing unit were locked to “protect the patients from COVID-19.”
The housing unit is leased by Caritas Communities, which provides ‘independent living’ for veterans who can come and go as they please. The stairwell in Building 5 where the veteran was found is not part of their leased area.
In a statement to WBZ-TV, the company said they “are committed to the health and safety of our residents and follow strict protocols when a resident is discovered missing.” Those protocols included calling police on May 13. Detectives did a search but did not find his body.
“We are looking at, obviously, the circumstances around which he was last seen and looking at the efforts that were made from that day May 8,” District Attorney Marian Ryan said.
The DA’s office is currently investigating the man’s cause of death.
The portion of the building where the victim was found is under the control of the VA and is ‘alarmed,’ according to Caritas Communities. Authorities have not stated whether they are investigating this as a suspicious death.
“His housing at the medical center was provided by Caritas Communities, a nonprofit that works to house homeless veterans. He lived in Building 5. Caritas operates a portion of that building under contract with the VA.
“The stairwell where the deceased man was found was outside the lease premises of Caritas Communities, is alarmed and solely controlled by the VA,” the nonprofit said in a statement.
DA Marian Ryan said that charges could be filed if those who searched did not mount a large enough effort to locate him.
MORE: DA Marian Ryan tells me her office could file charges if they discover there wasn’t a large enough effort made to locate a missing VA resident in May. His body was found in a stairwell today, dressed in the same clothes in which he went missing. #WBZ pic.twitter.com/mFhgvizbwQ
— Kristina Rex (@KristinaRex) June 12, 2020
The investigation is ongoing, and after the autopsy, his name should be released. The veteran was homeless prior to moving to the Bedford facility.
Featured photo: Caritas Communities