US attorney: Investigation into VA deaths a ‘top priority’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A U.S attorney is confirming that federal authorities are investigating suspicious deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in West Virginia, as more federal officials demand answers.

Sen. Joe Manchin and VA Secretary Robert Wilkie have called for an expedited investigation of up to 11 suspicious deaths at the facility in Clarksburg. At least two have been classified as homicides.

U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said in a statement on Friday that the “ongoing and comprehensive federal criminal investigation” into the deaths of some patients at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center began as soon as potential criminal activity was discovered and is a top priority.

Powell said he understands the call for a speedy resolution. He declined to comment further to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com