McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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July 26, 2012

OSBI hands Narconon death investigation to Sheriff and DA for a deeper look

McALESTER — A deeper investigation into the recent deaths at Narconon Arrowhead has been requested by the district attorney’s office.

A death scene investigation report from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was handed over on Wednesday to Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns and to the District 18 District Attorney’s office.

Narconon Arrowhead is a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Canadian with ties with the Church of Scientology, according to Gary Smith director of the facility.

“The investigation is continuing,” Kerns said. “The DA’s office has directed me to do some further investigation of the matter but I cannot release any information at this time,” Kerns said.

He said Monday the DA’s office requested the official reports on two other deaths at the facility; Hillary Holten, 21, who died in April and 32-year-old Gabriel Graves who died in October.

According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the report was finalized Wednesday and handed over to Kerns.

“An OSBI agent processed the death scene at Narconon Arrowhead. That report has been delivered to the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. The sheriff’s office is handling other investigative matters involving this death,” according to a OSBI press-release.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Hull said after looking at the OSBI report and additional witness statements, “the District Attorney's Office has requested the Sheriff's Office to further investigate.”

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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