Teen arrested in soldier dad's death

Aug. 3, 2002 at 1:51 PM
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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old girl has been arrested in the death of her soldier father, Fort Bragg Army Maj. David Shannon, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Shannon's death July 23 was the fifth slaying linked to spousal violence at the base since June 11. Four Fort Bragg wives were killed, and their husbands were suspects.

Elizabeth Shannon was found hiding at a mobile home park and was charged Friday with murder, the Fayetteville Observer reported in its Saturday edition.

Her mother, Joan Shannon, was arrested earlier in the week and charged with murder and conspiracy in the shooting death of her husband, a Special Operations soldier.

Police say the motive behind David Shannon's slaying was financial gain -- insurance and other benefits.

The string of deaths at the base have raised questions as to whether combat experience in Afghanistan may have had something to do with some of the slayings.

Sgt. Alex Thompson, a spokesman for the Fayetteville Police Department, which responded to the first of the homicides, believes a link should not be drawn between the crimes and the military, or the Afghan mission.

"It's disturbing, it's alarming, but I don't think there's a huge connection," he told United Press International last week.

On June 11, Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves, a soldier in the 3rd Special Forces Group who had been back from Afghanistan just two days, shot and killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself, according to the Fayetteville police.

On June 29, Master Sgt. William Wright of the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion strangled his wife. He had been back from Afghanistan for a month, according to the Fayetteville Observer.

On July 19, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Floyd shot his wife and then killed himself. The Fayetteville newspaper reported Floyd was a member of Delta Force, the secret anti-terrorism unit based at Fort Bragg. He returned from Afghanistan in January.

A fourth case involving the death of a Fort Bragg wife cannot be linked to combat duty in Afghanistan: Sgt. Cedric Ramon Griffin of the 37th Engineer Battalion was charged with stabbing his estranged wife, Marilyn, and then setting her home on fire July 9. He was not deployed for the war.

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