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This was in the Tuesday edition of the LA Times, April 24, 2001. Part A,

page A15
Texas to Dig Up I0 Bodies In Hospital Probe
From Reuters

DALLAS Investigators will ex-hume the bodies of about 10 elderly patients who died in a rural North Texas hospital to check whether they were killed with a drug stolen from the: hospital pharmacy, authorities said Monday.

Montague County Dist, Atty, Tim Cole said the investigation focused on missing doses of a muscle relaxant and a higher-than-usual number of deaths, all during the night shift, at a 68-bed hospital in Nocona about 105 miles northwest Of Dallas.

"The nature of the deaths and the missing drug raised questions as to whether the two were related," Cole said "Investigators do have a suspect, but no information can be released about the identity of the suspect until such a time as a charge is filed, or an indictment returned."

Cole's office and Nocona General Hospital declined to comment about whether the suspect was a hospital employee.

Nocona is a town of about 3,000 people  in  ranching  and  farm country
near the Oklahoma line.

The hospital first alerted police in February after staff members
reported missing supplies of the drug mivacurium chloride, a powerful muscle relaxant that in high enough doses can cause a person to stop breathing and die.

"It was the missing drug that prompted us to call the police - together with the fact that a higher
than usual number of deaths had occurred, all of them during the same shift hospital administrator Chuck Norris said.

Norris declined to specify how many patients had died during the period in question - December and January- but said it was more than normal.

The district attorney's office now plans to exhume about 10 bodies and
with the help of the FBI examine them for causes of death and for possible traces of the muscle drug.

The Dallas Morning News quoted one relative as backing the exhumations.

Wanda Russell's 95- year old mother died in the hospital Jan. 24.  "It's
a feeling of anger and unease," she told the news-paper. "It would be good for them not to find anything and end this. But we think Mama would have wanted the exhumation

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