Second homicide identified at Virginia's VA hospital as number of suspicious deaths rises to 10, veteran's family in disbelief
Another homicide has been identified posthumously in a patient from Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia, taking the number of suspicious deaths at the hospital to ten.
The recent revelation came after federal investigators contacted George Nelson Shaw, Sr's family in rural Virginia last winter. The investigators requested that the family should exhume Shaw's body to examine it for foul play, according to reports.
The Shaw family had reportedly found his death suspicious as they did not understand how the retired Air Force veteran went from bowling to hospice at the local VA hospital within weeks.
Federal investigators, after examining Shaw's body, revealed to his family last month that he had not died of natural causes, and in fact, had been killed.
Reports state that this is the second death that has been ruled a homicide after autopsies were conducted by an Armed Forces medical examiner at Dover Air Force Base, according to USA Today. The two cases are among the ten similar ones at the VA hospital that have come under the scrutiny of the FBI.
In a similar case, another victim's body, that of 82-year-old Army veteran Felix Kirk McDermott, was exhumed and examined in October last year. It was then revealed that his death had been a homicide too as he was administered an insulin injection. An insulin injection administered to a person without diabetes can prove fatal.
According to the U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, federal authorities are currently investigating a "person of interest" in the case. The senator, on Wednesday, urged authorities to finish their probe quickly and establish a hotline to answer the families' questions.
Shaw's daughter, Mary Wood, after learning how her father died, said she does not know how to react to this devastating news. "How does one react to that information, that their loved one did not just pass away, that it was a homicide? And that it happened at a VA hospital," she told the outlet. "We put all our trust and faith into that hospital to take care of him, and in the end? We got nothing, absolutely nothing."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for VA Inspector General Michael Missal, Mike Mike Nacincik, referred to a statement released by them on Tuesday, acknowledging that his office is working with federal officials "to investigate allegations of potential wrongdoing resulting in patient deaths" at the medical center.