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Elderly Veteran Dies Near Wife’s Grave At Arlington National Cemetery

Wikimedia Commons

Section 64 of Arlington National Cemetery

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Robert E. Terrill, 92, was found dead at Arlington National Cemetery — apparently by his own hand — in Section 64, the same area where his late wife is buried.

Authorities at Arlington say there has never been a suicide by gunshot in the cemetery's 150-year history. Chris Grey of the Army's Criminal Investigation Command said of the fatality:

"Although we have not completely ruled it out in order to conduct a complete and thorough investigation, we do not suspect foul play at this point in the investigation."

The tragedy unfolded last Friday, when Arlington authorities say reports of a gunshot in Section 64 drew law enforcement officials to the area, where they found the body of an elderly man.

The reason behind the man's suicide was a mystery, until his identity was announced this week.

The Military Times reports Terrill's late wife Helen died in 2009, and is buried in Section 64.

The Terrills' longtime neighbor, Janice Gaynor, told the Military Times that Robert Terrill kept his pain to himself:

“I don’t think any of us had any idea. He didn’t complain or anything.”

But Gaynor added that Terrill had been extremely close to his wife, and found himself alone after she died, as the couple was childless.

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