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Police Say another Young Doctor’s Untimely Death is “Suspicious” – 2nd Death in 2 Weeks at Spokane VA

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Published on: February 18, 2016

Dr. John Marshall, acting chief of surgery at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, went missing after going on an early morning run near the Spokane River. At that end of January, Marshall’s body was found in the Spokane River. His death, which police have labeled as “suspicious,” comes in a long line of mysterious deaths of doctors over the past year.

Marshall, 49, who was a fourth generation marine who had served in Afghanistan and had gone through survival training, was last seen a little after 5 am after he left the local YMCA on January 25, 2016. His wife said that he typically went for a run around that time and was optimistic that he would be found safe.

Cynthia Johnson of KHQ has the story:

The Spokesman Review reported that surveillance video from the YMCA did show him entering and exiting. However, his car remained parked and his gym bag, phone, keys and wallet were still in a cubby where he left them at the YMCA.

According to a statement from the Spokane VA Hospital regarding Dr. Marshall’s death:

“We are deeply saddened to learn that local authorities confirmed Dr. John Marshall’s body was found this morning.  Dr. Marshall  was a fantastic surgeon who will be deeply missed.  He began his career at the VA Medical Center over five years ago.  Recently, he was serving as the Acting Chief of Surgery, a role in which he excelled.  Patients and staff alike talked regularly about his conscientious, empathetic and respectful nature.  A Marine, Army doctor, and combat Veteran, Dr. Marshall was an outstanding surgeon and consummate professional who cared about his patients and dedicated team of VA co-workers.  We express our deepest sympathies to his family and all those who were close to him.”

Though police investigated, I was unable to turn up any kind of discovery or follow up information. However, Dr. Marshall’s obituary was posted in the Spokane Review from February 7 to February 10. At that time the obituary read, “John was on his way to work after a morning jog in downtown Spokane, with his feet pounding the pavement and his favorite tunes in his ears. And that’s about all we know about that.”

If you have further information regarding Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, please feel free to add that in the comment section or email me.

This was the second death at the VA in two weeks. Brenda Thurman was laid to rest the day that Dr. Marshall’s body was discovered after she was accidentally shot by her husband while he was cleaning her gun. Her husband claimed responsibility, but what is amazing is that that Brenda was a military police officer in the Army and had completed SWAT and Sniper school, as well. Her husband was also an Army veteran. While this has been considered an accident, it should be a reminder to practice good gun safety.

Still, there are many questions that need to be answered in the death of Dr. Marshall.

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