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Investigations continue in 3 Fort Bragg homicides

By Jean Lotus
Investigations continue in 3 Fort Bragg homicides
The U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the death of Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez and two other homicides associated with Fort Bragg in North Carolina after new details emerged this week. Photo courtesy of  Criminal Investigation Command

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army's Criminal Investigations Command continues to investigate the deaths of three soldiers based in Fort Bragg in North Carolina near Fayetteville, after new details emerged last week.

The bodies of two of the soldiers, Army Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, and veteran Timothy Dumas, 44, were found Wednesday at a training ground at Fort Bragg. ABC News reported Friday that foul play was suspected in the two men's deaths.

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Autopsy results for a third soldier, Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez, 21, killed in May, showed that the paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division was decapitated, as reported by the News and Observer.

"While decapitation is, in and of itself, universally fatal, the remainder of the body in this case was not available for examination, and therefore potential causes of death involving the torso and extremities cannot be excluded," the report from the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine said. "A definitive cause of death cannot be determined, (but) the findings in this case are most consistent with death due to homicide."

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Roman-Martinez, from Chino, Calif., was reported missing by fellow soldiers who said they last saw him on May 22 at a campsite at the Cape Lookout National Seashore area, Army investigators said. His phone and wallet were found at the campsite. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved, but no arrests have been made yet.

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Lavinge, one of the two men found last week, was assigned to the Army Special Operations Command. Veteran Dumas also had Special Forces experience and had formerly served at Fort Bragg.

The two men "may have been engaged in criminal activity before their deaths," a defense official told The Washington Post.

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In March 2018, Lavigne shot and killed Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Mark Leshikar, 33, in Fayetteville. The shooting was ruled a justifiable homicide, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, the Army Times reported.

About 50,700 active-duty soldiers are based at Fort Bragg including members of the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps and Special Operations Command, along with the Army Forces Command, 82nd Airborne Division and the Army Reserve Command.

Stars and Stripes reported that 31 soldiers assigned to the base have died this year, with nearly half dying by suicide.

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