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.