62-year-old VA resident missing since May found dead in facility’s stairwell

BEDFORD, Mass. — A 62-year-old man was found dead last week in a Bedford VA stairwell in Massachusetts, having been last seen over a month ago.

According to a spokesperson, the man was not a resident at the facility. He was found in an area leased and operated by a private company.

According to the Middlesex district attorney’s office, the man, who has not been identified yet, was last seen May 8. He was reported missing shortly after, May 13.

Officials did not specify whether the death is being treated as suspicious.

The district attorney’s office continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding this death.

Caritas Communities, the organization that provides housing to veterans through many facilities in the state, including the Bedford VA Hospital, released the following statement:

Caritas Communities is a nonprofit homelessness prevention organization that provides Single Room Housing for 1,000 individuals annually throughout Greater Boston. The Bedford Veterans Quarters is a Caritas Communities residential facility leased from the VA in one portion of one building on the VA campus in Bedford, and provides single room occupancy housing to formerly homeless veterans. It is not a hospital or rehabilitation center but an independent-living residence. Residents are free to come and go as they please and have no obligation to inform the staff of their whereabouts. They regularly go to work, grocery shopping, visiting family and other normal activities. They also frequently participate in programs and use facilities available to them on the VA campus.

Caritas Communities provides on-site staffing to refer and help residents connect to counseling, medical treatment, employment and other services at the VA. Caritas Communities is committed to the health and safety of our residents and follows strict protocols when a resident is discovered missing.

On May 13, 2020, at about 1 p.m., Caritas notified VA officials in Bedford of a missing BVQ resident. Caritas notified the Bedford Police of the missing person later that afternoon. On the morning of May 14, a Caritas employee visited the VA Police office on campus and reported the person missing. Caritas had been working with the VA and the Bedford Police to ascertain the whereabouts of this resident. On Friday, June 12, the body of the 62-year-old missing man was found in an emergency-exit stairwell outside the space leased by Caritas. It is one of several stairwells that are outside the leased premises of Caritas Communities and are solely controlled by the VA. A statement released today by the VA that the resident was found “on the Bedford VA campus in an area leased and operated by a private company” is inaccurate.

Caritas Communities is cooperating fully with the investigation. The name of the man has not been released by authorities. Caritas Communities is deeply saddened and offers our condolences to the family and friends of the Veteran.