Mass. lawmakers call for VA Inspector General to launch investigation into death of veteran at Bedford facility

Mass. lawmakers call for VA Inspector General to launch investigation into death of veteran at Bedford facility
Bedford VA Hospital in Bedford, MA, is pictured on April 14, 2020. (Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images)

BEDFORD, Mass. — Massachusetts lawmakers are urging 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 VA Hospital.

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) are pushing for more answers in the case after the 62-year-old veteran who had been missing for nearly a month was found dead in a stairwell.

According to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, the man, who has not been identified yet, was last seen on May 8. He was reported missing shortly after, on May 13. On June 12, his body was found in a stairwell on the grounds of the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital campus.

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He had been living in a residential area on the campus that was operated by Caritas Communities and that he was able to come and go freely.

The door of the stairwell is located in the same building the man was residing in, about 20 yards from his room. Preliminary investigation shows the man had been dead for a while before his body was found; he had also been wearing the same clothes he had last been seen wearing on May 8.

A preliminary report from the Medical Examiner’s Officer suggests there was no trauma and that no foul play is suspected. The ruling on the cause of death is still pending.

While the DA’s office continues to look into this case, the lawmakers said that “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.”