In the months leading up to July 2018, about 10 veterans checked into the VA hospital in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and never checked out. Their deaths are the subject of a federal criminal investigation.
Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said his office is working with the FBI and the Department of Justice in the probe.
A "person of interest" was identified, but no one has been charged with a crime. Hospital officials said it's not a current employee, and Glenn Snider, director of the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center, said the person "was removed from their position."
Five of the veterans have been publicly identified. Here's what we know about them.
March 26, 2018
Archie Edgell, 84, died March 26, 2018, four days after he was admitted to the hospital because of problems associated with his dementia.
Edgell was diabetic, but family members had given him insulin at home and he was not prescribed insulin at the hospital, his family’s lawyer said.
Within two days of being admitted, Edgell’s blood sugar plummeted to a dangerously low level (a condition called hypoglycemia), even as hospital staff tried to raise it by giving him glucose.
His body was exhumed so an Armed Forces medical examiner could conduct an autopsy. He concluded the circumstances of Edgell's death "are strongly suspicious for unprescribed ... insulin administration during his hospitalization."
Edgell's death was ruled “undetermined.”
April 8, 2018
William Holloway, 96, died April 8, 2018, a few hours after his family was told he was doing better, according to his daughter, Karen.
For months afterward, his family believed he had died of sepsis. In the fall of 2018, federal officials contacted the Holloways to ask if they could exhume his body.
A medical examiner conducted an autopsy. Holloway was diabetic and dependent on insulin. In the days leading up to his death, he had a severe case of hypoglycemia over a 30-hour period, according to his autopsy.
"There is no natural cause that would explain this profound degree of (persistent) hypoglycemia," the examiner wrote in his report.
"This episode is strongly suspicious” for unprescribed administration of insulin, the medical examiner wrote. Holloway's manner of death was ruled “undetermined,” like Edgell's.
“He didn’t just die a normal death," Karen Holloway said. "His life was taken."
April 9, 2018
Felix Kirk McDermott, 82, was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia after he inhaled food into his lungs. Three days later, he was dead.
His body was exhumed and autopsied in October 2018. The Armed Forces medical examiner ruled his death homicide by insulin injection. McDermott was not diabetic and did not take insulin.
He had retired from the Army as a sergeant major after 20 years of active duty, including a tour in Vietnam, his daughter Melanie Proctor said. "It’s just not right," she said. "I thought my dad was safe there."
Authorities investigate: 10 suspicious deaths at VA hospital, including one ruled a homicide
April 10, 2018
George Nelson Shaw Sr., 81, died April 10, 2018, roughly two weeks after suffering an unexplained drop in blood sugar at the hospital.
His body was exhumed and sent to Dover Air Force Base for an autopsy. The medical examiner found four injection sites – two on his left arm, one on his right and another on his right thigh – that tested positive for insulin, according to the autopsy report. Shaw had no history of diabetes or prescribed insulin administration.
His death was ruled a homicide by insulin injection.
He had spent 28 years as a communication specialist in the Air Force before retiring and working in the mail room at the Clarksburg VA hospital, said Norma, his wife of nearly 59 years.
"This cannot happen to another family, ever," his daughter Linda Kay Shaw said. "It’s got to be stopped. Whoever’s accountable, needs to be held accountable, and that goes all the way to the top."
June 13, 2018
John Hallman, 87, a Navy veteran who served during the Korean War, was admitted to the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center with liver problems and signs of pneumonia. He died the next morning. He didn't seem to be critically ill, and doctors did not place him in the intensive care unit, his children told USA TODAY.
Investigators showed his daughter, Debbie Cutler, graphs from his medical records showing the level of insulin in Hallman's blood had spiked before he died. No autopsy was conducted because Hallman had been cremated.
"We really trusted them," Cutler said. "That they would do whatever they could to make him well again. It was unbelievable. Heartbreaking."
'Definitely suspicious': Investigation into patient deaths at West Virginia VA hospital expands
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Clarksburg VA hospital deaths: These are the veterans who died