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Virginia gunman's mental health papers found

MISSING mental health records of Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-hui have been discovered in the home of the university clinic's former director, according to a memo obtained yesterday.

Cho killed 32 people on April 16, 2007, then committed suicide as police closed in. The South Korean student's mental health treatment has been a major issue in the investigation of the shootings.

A memo from Governor Tim Kaine's chief legal counsel to victims' families said Cho's records and those of several other Virginia Tech students were found on July 18 in the home of Dr Robert H Miller.

The memo said the records were removed from the Cook Counseling Center on the Virginia Tech campus more than a year before the shootings. Miller refused to comment.

The recovery of the records, which eluded a vast criminal investigation two years ago, was first announced by Kaine yesterday.

Kaine said a Virginia State Police criminal investigation into how the records disappeared from the center where Cho was ordered to undergo counseling is under way. Removing records from the center is illegal.

Kaine said he was dismayed that it took two years before they were found by attorneys in a lawsuit brought by families of the victims.

The discovery calls into question the thoroughness of the criminal probe two years ago and the findings of a commission Kaine appointed to review the catastrophe, one victim's relative said. "Deception comes to my mind in my first response," said Suzanne Grimes, whose son Kevin was injured in the shootings.

While a large part of the shooting investigation focused on how university officials and police responded following the first reports of deaths in a Virginia Tech dormitory, families of victims have also inquired how the troubled Cho slipped through the cracks at university counseling.


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