June 17, 2020

Massachusetts Lawmakers Call for VA Inspector General Investigation of Veteran Death on Bedford VA Campus

Veteran resident of facility leased from Bedford VA found dead in stairwell; Lack of clarity on entity responsible for stairwell may heighten risk of similar incidents in the future

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA-04), and Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) urge the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) to investigate the death of a veteran, non-patient resident of a building leased by a private company located on the campus of the Bedford Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Bedford, Massachusetts.

The letter comes after news reports and a briefing for Congressional staff by the Bedford VA leadership that a 62-year-old veteran, non-patient resident of an independent living facility on property leased by Caritas Communities from the Bedford VAMC was found dead on June 12, 2020. The deceased veteran was reported missing since May 13 and was reportedly found in the same clothing in which he was last seen.

"It is undisputed that a veteran died on VA property and that his family deserves a thorough, independent investigation by relevant authorities," the lawmakers wrote. "Accordingly, it is consistent with the mission of the VA Inspector General to review the circumstances that led to this veteran's death and to determine accountability for this tragedy, including an examination of the terms of the lease agreement between the Bedford VAMC and Caritas Communities as well as recommendations for how such an incident can be avoided in the future. Therefore, we respectfully request that you initiate an investigation into the recent death of a veteran on the campus of the Bedford VAMC."

Middlesex County District Attorney Marion Ryan and the Massachusetts State Police have begun investigations.

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