Home NEWS Police/Fire Investigators Determine Moraga’s Armstrong Brothers Had Influenza Virus At The Time Of...

Investigators Determine Moraga’s Armstrong Brothers Had Influenza Virus At The Time Of Their Death


Investigators looking into the deaths of brothers Gary and Richard Armstrong in Moraga January 15 have determined that both men had the flu virus at the time of their deaths – coroner’s officials classifying their deaths as “natural.”

Moraga Police Chief Jon King said Friday the results of tests conducted by the Coroner’s Division of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office determined that the two men, discovered together in a camper on the Moraga Ranch property behind School Street and Moraga Way, found that both men tested positive for the flu virus at the time of their deaths.

The chief said both men had reportedly been ill for some time before they were discovered by a third party who discovered them in the camper Gary Armstrong lived in on the secluded property.

Although this site has amassed anecdotal information on the severity and duration of local flu cases and local fire departments have been busy caring for and transporting flu patients, the Moraga case strikes home particularly hard and is the first time the virus has been found to be present and tied to two local deaths.

“Any time we lose someone in town it’s sad,” King said. “But something like this strikes home and is particularly difficult. Hopefully, this will answer some of the questions many people had about this case.”

Victoria Balladares, Communications Officer for Contra Costa County Health Services, said that seven people have died of flu in the county so far this season, with that count reflecting only those persons who died under the age of 65. The county does not keep records for those older than 65 who die of the virus.

Gary Armstrong was 67, and Richard Armstrong, 65.


    • @Pamela – This is pretty fresh and we’re trying to pin down the wording – whether the virus caused or possibly contributed to their deaths. At this point all we can safely say is that it was present in both men.

  1. I find it “odd” that they both died of the flu virus at the same time, but if that’s their finding. No carbon monoxide, huh?

    • @Danielle – No foul play. No carbon monoxide poisoning. We had considered the possibility of some sort of pact but we’re told that wasn’t the case. Friends say they’d been sick for a bit. We’re just trying to pin down the wording for the cause of death: caused or contributed to, though the coroner has deemed the deaths “natural.”

    • @Andrew – Sadly, no, Andrew. There have been 7 deaths in the county so far this flu season, all persons under the age of 65.

  2. As a former member of the medical profession (who’s currently licensed with the state – another profession) I’d like to clarify my opinion. You’re more likely to die from complication from the infection, than the flu itself. Bacterial infection of the lungs, or bacterial pneumonia.

    If they’d been ill for some time, sadly it happens.

    • @Danielle – Thanks for that, Danielle. It’s like that scene in Jaws where we’re trying to figure out the cause of death, e.g. SHARK ATTACK, SHIP STRIKE… etc. Tough to pin down as you say.

  3. How long had they been there? Odd that they would both pass at the same time?? Or had they been there a while. Very very sad case. Scared to death of this flu.

  4. I’m still having trouble with this. How could they have died at basically the same time from the same flu? Whether or not it comes out there pretty much has to be more to this story. I find it hard to believe that they both just died without first seeking medical treatment. I’m wondering if they even had heat. There’s something extremely tragic about these two deaths although I don’t know exactly what it is.

  5. I’m on my way to Washington right now. My sister’s boyfriend passed away from the flu 2 days ago. Started as a cold and took him in 24 hours. This flu is no joke.

    • @Kelly – Our condolences. This seems to be a particularly virulent strain. We were startled by the number of people losing their lives because of it.

  6. I will not buy this… my 2 high school friends (not “elderly” as some articles have stated) died at the same time of the flu? They had people stopping by and they were near death yet no one called 911 or reached out to anyone? They were only in their 60’s and I truly think that they just want to “close the case”and move on…. I pray the family gets more closure than this… it’s just not right…. prayers for Rick and Gary’s family…🙏💞

    • @Kymm – Still under investigation, Kymm. The presence of flu in both men was noted, but a final determination has yet to be made.

Leave a Reply