Update: Police Identify Body Pulled from Charlottesville Creek
Authorities have identified Thomas Charles Franklin, AKA “Colonel”, as the man pulled from a creek near a Charlottesville nursing home Sunday.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Authorities have identified Thomas Charles Franklin, AKA “Colonel”, as the man pulled from a creek near a Charlottesville nursing home.
He was 65 years old and was an army veteran.
Franklin, a resident at Cedars Healthcare Center, fell into a nearby creek sometime Sunday, June 10, and was swept away. Police say Franklin had left the center a little before noon, and that his wheelchair was found by the creek around 4:40 p.m. the same day.
Rescue crews pulled Franklin out of the water about 200 yards away from the wheelchair's location a little after 5 p.m. He was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center in critical condition.
Franklin was pronounced dead around 6 p.m. Sunday.
CommuniCare Family of Companies Spokesperson Fred Stratman says people at the Cedars Healthcare Center are allowed to sign themselves out.
"Patients in nursing homes have every right that they would have if they were living in their own home. And, as long as it's medically appropriate, that includes the right to come and go," Stratman said.
Grief counselors have been made available at the center.
"The staff and the residents of Cedar Healthcare Center are devastated by this tragedy. We really have lost someone who is close to us in terms of staff and the other residents," said Stratman.
The Charlottesville Police Department said Monday, June 11, that its detectives are following up with staff and residents of the care center, as well as checking the area for any video evidence.
The care center is reportedly conducting an internal analysis, as well.
An investigation by police is ongoing. Franklin’s body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy.
06/11/2018 Release from the Charlottesville Police Department:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The Charlottesville Police Department is investigating the death of Thomas Charles Franklin, AKA “Colonel”, on June 10, 2018.
Mr. Franklin’s body was found in the creek located nearby the Cedars Health Care Center at 1242 Cedars Court. Mr. Franklin was a resident of the care center and was bound to a wheelchair.
He was seen leaving the center at approximately 11:57 a.m. His wheelchair was found by the creek at approximately 4:40 p.m., and his body was located approximately 200 yards downstream.
First responders did attempt CPR, but Mr. Franklin was pronounced dead at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Detectives are following up with staff and residents of the care center and checking the area for any video evidence to narrow down a timeline for Mr. Franklin’s activities on Sunday.
Mr. Franklin’s body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy and investigators are awaiting the results.