Victim and attacker named in Truman VA Hospital death

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A 33-year-old Sedalia man suspected of killing a veterans’ hospital patient in Columbia was released from jail two days earlier after prosecutors declined to charge him with assaulting a neighbor.

Columbia police issued a first-degree murder warrant Monday for Rudy Perez Jr. with a $1 million, cash-only bond. He’s accused of killing 78-year-old Robert O. Hill of Warsaw.

Officials at Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital said Hill was attacked by another patient Friday night and died four hours later.

The case is being investigated by Columbia police and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general.

A Sedalia police report shows that Perez was arrested Jan. 29 but released 24 hours later. Pettis County Prosecutor Jeff Mittelhauser did not immediately respond to an interview request Monday.

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