Army investigates death of Green Beret and veteran at Fort Bragg

Dec 08, 2020 Travel News

Army investigates death of Green Beret and veteran at Fort Bragg

The military said it was investigating the death last week of a Green Beret and an Army veteran whose bodies were found in a training area at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

The men’s bodies were discovered on Wednesday, the military said. Officials did not say how they died, but said the deaths were unrelated to the unit’s official training activities.

Fort Bragg identified the military veteran as Timothy Dumas, 44, of Pinehurst, North Carolina

The US Army Special Operations Command identified the Green Beret as Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, who had been assigned to the Siege and Siege Company.

“I can confirm that we are investigating this matter as a homicide investigation,” Chris Gray, a spokesperson for the Army’s Criminal Investigations Command, said in a statement. “I will post more at the appropriate time.”

The inquest was unfolding after the death of a 21-year-old Fort Bragg soldier whose severed head washed up on the North Carolina Outer Banks in May was ruled homicidal last month.

Fort Bragg, home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces, is the largest base in the United States Army, with approximately 57,000 military personnel, 11,000 civilian employees, and 23,000 family members. While a spate of suicides, homicides and fatal accidents rocked Fort Hood, Texas this year, the larger Fort Bragg has been relatively calm, with only one homicide this year before the latest investigations began. .

Lieutenant-Colonel Justin Duvall, Commander of Army Special Operations Command Headquarters and Headquarters Company, commended Sergeant Lavigne on his service.

“The loss of a soldier is always tragic,” Colonel Duvall said in a statement on Friday. “Master Sgt. Lavigne devoted himself to the military for 19 years and has deployed repeatedly in the defense of our nation. Our condolences to his family during this difficult time.

After enlisting in the military in 2001, Sergeant Lavigne graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2007 and was assigned to the First Special Forces Group (Airborne) and Special Operations Command.

He has deployed several times to Afghanistan and Iraq and received the Bronze Star with the “V” device for bravery, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Joint Service Medal, among other awards and decorations. .

In March 2018, Sergeant Lavigne was investigated into the death of Mark D.

“He was involved, he was found justified and the case was closed,” said Lt. Sean Swain, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

The Army Criminal Investigation Command conducted its own investigation and came to the same conclusion as the Sheriff’s Office: that the shooting was a justifiable act of self-defense, according to Special Operations Command. Sergeant Lavigne has never been charged.

Mr. Dumas, a chief warrant officer, served in the military as a real estate accounting technician from November 1996 to March 2016, an army spokesperson said. He has deployed to Afghanistan four times, officials said.

The deaths of Sergeant Lavigne and Mr. Dumas were not thought to be linked to that of specialist Enrique Roman-Martinez, 21, a soldier of the 82nd Airborne Division also based at Fort Bragg, who disappeared on a trip from camping at Cape Lookout National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on May 22.

The death was ruled homicidal, according to an autopsy report released last month, of which the New York Times obtained a copy.

The severed head of specialist Roman-Martinez washed up in Cape Lookout on May 29, but the rest of his body has not been found. The autopsy revealed “multiple injuries to the chop.” It was not clear whether these wounds were inflicted before or after his death.

Griselda Martinez, sister of specialist Roman-Martinez, expressed frustration with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, saying she did not feel heard during her investigation.

“Not showing up and just disappearing should have been a big red flag,” she said, adding that her brother had a strong work ethic. “Why would someone like him become AWOL?”

A spokesperson for the 82nd Airborne Division said officials had been in regular contact with the family of specialist Roman-Martinez in the months following his disappearance.

“Enrique’s senseless murder has been felt throughout our organization and we stand alongside his family in the pursuit of justice,” said spokesperson Lt. Col. Michael Burns. “We are doing everything humanly possible to find those responsible for his death.”

Seven special agents from the Army’s Criminal Investigations Command are working full-time on the death of specialist Roman-Martinez as part of a task force involving the FBI and other law enforcement, Col. Burns. This week, officers searched Cape Lookout for the third time since specialist Roman-Martinez went missing, and there was a reward of $ 25,000 for information leading to an arrest, Col. Burns said.