Disease Samples Disappeared From Fort Detrick

FREDERICK, Md. -- An investigation of three disease samples missing from a Fort Detrick lab found no evidence of criminality, according to Army officials, and the samples were likely destroyed.

The samples of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis were discovered missing last year in an inventory of a group of samples left by a departing researcher, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden said Wednesday.

The report that the vials were missing triggered the investigation, which found that the samples were likely among those destroyed when a freezer malfunctioned, Vander Linden said.

An extensive investigation found no evidence of criminality, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Chris Grey said.

Fort Detrick is the same place where deceased anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins did his lab work.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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