Missing vet’s body was found in stairwell of VA facility a month after he disappeared

| September 11, 2021

The NY Post is reporting;

The decaying body of an Army veteran went undiscovered at a Massachusetts facility for a month — because no one bothered to look in an emergency exit stairwell, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A 45-page report released Thursday detailed the disappearance and death of Timothy White, 62, whose “significantly decayed” corpse was discovered in June 2020 in a stairwell at the Bedford Veterans Quarters in Massachusetts.

White, who had recently been homeless, started living at the privately operated, VA-owned building in January 2020.

He was reported missing from his single-occupancy room on May 13 and lived just down the hall from where his body was found nearly a month later on June 12 — having never left the building, according to the report by the VA’s Office of Inspector General.

Another resident at the facility ultimately found White’s body and he was wearing the same clothes he had on when he was last seen: a Boston Red Sox jersey, jeans and a baseball cap.

White, who was not known to leave the Bedford facility without explanation, had no cellphone or car on the campus. Investigators found that the facility’s staff, Bedford police, as well as VA authorities “never searched” the exit stairwell where the vet’s body was ultimately discovered.

“The OIG found that Mr. White’s disappearance did not receive the attention it deserved from VA, an agency that is required by federal law to provide for the protection of all persons on its property,” the report concluded.

The facility failed to properly respond to White’s disappearance by not ordering a significant search, including no routine patrols of any part of the building where he was later found.

“An officer told OIG investigators that had VA police been patrolling Building 5 at the time of his disappearance, he believed they would have ‘absolutely’ seen Mr. White, and he would have been located significantly sooner,” the report found.

Former VA police chief Shawn Kelley also waited nearly two weeks to respond to a Bedford police request to search for White using police dogs — an effort that never materialized since the vet was a resident at the facility and not an at-risk patient, the Boston Globe reported.

“Poor decision-making, misinformation, and lack of oversight also prevented anyone at VA from encountering Mr. White during the month after he was reported missing through routine patrols or cleaning of the emergency exit stairwell in which his body was found,” the OIG report concluded.

Kelley had ordered VA police officers to stop their daily patrols of the building in February 2020, some three months before White disappeared. The VA police chief later resigned as the OIG probe was being conducted, citing health issues, a person close to the matter told the Boston Globe.

Prosecutors also looked into White’s death, but did not recommend any criminal charges in the case. A medical examiner was unable to determine exactly how he died, the newspaper reported.

The Post has a photo that shows the layout of the building, where White’s body was found, and where White’s room was. He was literally feet away.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Disposable Warriors, Veterans' Affairs Department

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Hack Stone

Don’t worry, they plan to address this oversight by implementing an agency wide safety stand-down where all employees will learn to recognize white rage.

26Limabeans

“medical examiner was unable to determine exactly how he died”

How about alone, frightened and forgot about for starters?

Ocean12

Makes me wonder about the over all living conditions especially when no one notices a decaying body is in the building

26Limabeans

John Wayne Gacy’s victims were exposed by all the flies
around the siding on his home. The stench of a rotting human corpse
is something you never forget.

RGR 4-78

How bad does that facility stink, that no one would smell the decaying body?

Apathy.
Don’t give a shit.

Lot of bad going on.

Green Thumb

Word.

Anonymous

VA motto: F*ck it, I’m on my coffee break!

STSC(SW/SS)

“The OIG found that Mr. White’s disappearance did not receive the attention it deserved from VA, an agency that is required by federal law to provide for the protection of all persons on its property,” the report concluded.”

No shit Sherlock. Do they security at the building and they were making proper rounds they would have found him.

RIP shipmate.

5JC

A more detailed article:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9979495/Veteran-62-died-stairwell-Massachusetts-housing-facility-body-sat-MONTH.html

Just months before Mr. White’s disappearance, the VA police chief had improperly instructed his officers to stop patrolling Building 5,’ the OIG reported.

‘He claimed that it was at the request of Caritas managers, but there is conflicting testimony concerning this assertion.’

OWB

The stupid that the VA continues to display is beyond disturbing. Beyond being unable to excuse, beyond unimaginable. That the multitude of employees continue to practice incompetence, willful disregard for basic human decency, and any semblance of doing simple jobs for which they are being very well paid is incomprehensible. Are there no supervisors at any level capable of exercising even a modicum of rational thought? My rage has nothing to do with the color… Read more »

Anonymous

VA and Army used to share facilities in El Paso and difference in care was great and obvious.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neanderthal B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist SuperStraight

If anyone tries to put me into a VA home, just shoot me now.

I recall riding in the back of my dads 1959 Cheverolet station wagon as we
drove on rte 1, over the Mystic River Bridge past the Chelsea VA Hospital
just outside Boston. He would always say “Please don’t let me die in that place”.

Guy was a B-17 Gunner/togglier. Made sure he spent his last days in private care.

I am forever grateful to the military base hospital administrator who authorized payment of my civilian hospital bill. I was home on leave when I got sick. Anyway, I went to the civilian emergency room for treatment and clearance to return to my unit. When I got back to my base, I went to the base hospital to admit there was a VA hospital one mile from the civilian hospital. I told them I would… Read more »

If you took only my grandfather’s word, you’d never know the VA even existed.

WW2 vet, never had anything to do with or went anywhere near it.

thebesig

Nobody thought to look at building plans? Buildings like that normally have evacuation routes in case of fire. Look at blueprint of building; look at every room, look at every path in and out, and look at any space that could hide someone. Come up with thorough search plan to remove the possibility that the person being looked for is in the building. Missing No Frills Supermarket employee: Hold my beer! Employee missing for 10… Read more »

Sparks

Rest in peace Sir. You deserved better.

A Proud Infidel®™

Another spotlight on the competence of the VA.

Anonymous

Reminds me of Fort Hood for some reason.

Boiling Mad CPO

After my retirement I worked in several hi-rise condos and had to walk down every stairwell once a day to check on emergency lighting. Just part of the job.

Would not the maintenance/cleaning personnel do this at least once a week in a VA facility. Seems like they should.

Green Thumb

They are to busy getting shots and taking SHARP and extremism training.

KoB

Total incompetence. Used to shoot people for dereliction of duty. Need to go back to that.

Carlton

Reading this fills me with rage. I just can’t.

Anonymous

Gov’t run, single-payer healthcare Democrats want to force on everyone!

HotheadSGT

Lots of you morons talk about how great the VA is. You are just closet socialists yourselves. I think the whole VA system should be burned to the ground. Don’t privatize it, just eliminate it.

Inbred Redneck

NorCalVA has done fine by me. Any treatment for conditions other than service-related gets billed to my own insurance. I have a co-pay for the occasional prescription.
Whether or not I’m a moron is irrelevant.
YMMV

SFC D

It varies by hospital. Tucson does a great job and is well regarded. Phoenix is where you go to die on a waiting list. YMMV.

Green Thumb

I agree 100%.

26Limabeans

“to care for he who has been born to the state and his peers and their bastard child”

Anonymous

…and his dependapotomus claiming “vicarious traumatization” from his PTSD that he might deploy somewhere.