McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

September 28, 2012

Deaths at Narconon Arrowhead spur two more lawsuits

McALESTER — An attorney for the families of two patients found dead at Narconon Arrowhead says lawsuits against the facility could be filed next week. Meanwhile, officials await autopsy reports in an investigation into four known deaths tied to the Scientology-based facility.Narconon Arrowhead is a national nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Canadian.

The facility has been under investigation by Pittsburg County officials, the District 18 District Attorney’s office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health since July when 20-year-old Stacy Murphy was found dead while she was a patient of the facility.
On Thursday, a Tulsa attorney said lawsuits against the facility could be filed as soon as next week. The attorney, Gary Richardson, represents the families of Murphy and  of Gabriel Graves who was also found dead at Narconon Arrowhead.
“We have been doing a lot of work in these cases and we are hoping to have the lawsuits filed next week,” Richardson said.
Narconon officials have declined comment in the deaths beyond expressing sympathy for the families involved.
In July, Murphy’s death caused officials to take a closer look into the deaths of two others who died while patients of the facility in a span of less than a year.
 From October 2011 until July of 2012, three people were found dead at the Narconon Arrowhead.
According to police reports in October 2011, the body of Gabriel Graves, 32, was found dead in his bed facing a wall in his room at the facility. In April, Hillary Holten, 21, was found dead face down in her bed, also in her room at the facility. Murphy was also found dead at the Narconon facility in July.
 Officials are also looking into the 2009 death of Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28, who died while admitted as a Narconon patient. 

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