Violent Crime, Non Combat Death, and Suicide at Camp Pendleton, California (US Marine Corps)

USMC

*Research not complete and includes combat deaths.

2017:

Laurel Chasmar, US Marine Corps Veteran: Died in murder-suicide, New Jersey
John Deshaies, Canadian Citizen: Suspect in homicide of Marine & GF in Belize
Drew DeVoursney, US Marine Corps Veteran: Homicide victim in Belize, unsolved
Cody Haley, US Marine Corps: Died after tree fell on him during physical training
Francesca Matus, Civilian: Homicide victim in Belize, unsolved

2016:

Oscar Aguilar, Civilian: Accused of homicide of US Marine, awaiting trial
Esau Rios, Civilian: Accused of homicide of US Marine, awaiting trial
Carlos Segovia, US Marine Corps: Homicide victim in Los Angeles
Ricky Valente, Civilian: Accused of accessory after the fact, homicide of US Marine, awaiting trial

2015:

Sergio Medina, US Marine Corps Veteran: Robbery & physical assault, 6 years
Leonardo Ortiz, US Marine Corps Veteran: Robbery & physical assault, 3 years
Rodrigo Sanchez, US Marine Corps Veteran: Robbery & physical assault, 3 years
Dominic Schraft, US Marine Corps: Found dead with gunshot wound on base

2014:

Erin Corwin, US Marine Corps Spouse: Pregnant, Homicide Victim
Emilio Harvey, Civilian: Homicide victim, child
Christopher Lee, US Marine Corps: Homicide of Erin Corwin, Sentenced to Life
Stanford Morocho, US Marine Corps Veteran: Homicide, sentenced to 15 yrs to life
Sean Neal, US Marine Corps: Non-combat related incident, Iraq

2013:

Alvin Bulaoro, US Army Reserve: Homicide victim
Kevin Coset, US Marine Corps: Accused of homicide, awaiting trial
Karen Lange, Civilian: Attempted murder by AWOL Pendleton Marine
Mathew Marsh, US Marine Corps: Training accident, EOD explosion on base
Gregory Mullins, US Marine Corps: Training accident, EOD explosion on base
David Oppelt, US Army Spouse: Suspected of homicide, under investigation
Imelda Oppelt, US Army Guard Reserve: Homicide victim, death by hanging
Miguel Ortiz, US Marine Corps: Training accident, EOD explosion on base
Eric Summers, US Marine Corps: Training accident, EOD explosion on base

2012:

Clayton Beauchamp, US Navy: Unit attacked with IED, Afghanistan
John Berry, Civilian: Homicide victim of deceased Marine veteran Itzcoatl Ocampo
Amyjane Brandhagen, Civilian: Homicide victim of AWOL Pendleton Marine
Lukah Chang (Danny Wu), US Marine Corps: AWOL, homicide, sentenced to 35 yrs
Ryan Jeschke, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat ops, Afghanistan
Brittany Killgore, US Marine Corps Spouse: Rape & homicide victim
Matthew Manoukian, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat ops, Afghanistan
Sky Mote, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat ops, Afghanistan
Louis Perez, US Marine Corps: Rape & homicide, sentenced to life
Camella Steedley, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan

2011:

Mario Arias, US Marine Corps: Homicide victim, beat to death in barracks
Yvonne Baldelli, Civilian: Domestic violence & homicide victim in Panama
Brian Brimager, US Marine Corps Retired: Homicide, Panama, 26 yrs in prison
Raquel Estrada, Civilian: Homicide victim of dead Marine vet Itzcoatl Ocampo
Darren Evans, US Marine Corps: Homicide on base, sentenced to life
Adan Gonzales Jr, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat ops, Afghanistan
Juan Herrera, Civilian: Homicide victim of dead Marine vet Itzcoatl Ocampo
James McGillivray, Civilian: Homicide victim of dead Marine vet Itzcoatl Ocampo
Lloyd Middaugh, Civilian: Homicide victim of dead Marine vet Itzcoatl Ocampo
Itzcoatl Ocampo, US Marine Corps Veteran: Accused of 6 homicides, died in prison
Joshua Robinson, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat ops, Afghanistan
Paulus Smit, Civilian: Homicide victim of dead Marine vet Itzcoatl Ocampo

2010:

Christopher Boyd, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan
Max Donahue, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan
Daniel Fedder, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan
Floyd Holley, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan
Kevin Oratowski, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan
Ronald Rodriguez, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan
Jose Saenz III, US Marine Corps: Died supporting combat operations, Afghanistan

2009:

Donald Hogan, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Afghanistan

2008:

Kevin Cox, US Marine Corps: 2 homicides, sentenced to life, no parole
Stacy Dryden, US Marine Corps: Non-hostile incident, homicide, Iraq
Michael Heflin, Civilian: Beating & stabbing victim, survived
Emrys John, US Marine Corps: 2 homicides, sentenced to death
Summer Lang, US Marine Corps Spouse: Rape, torture, & kidnapping victim
Robert McClain, US Marine Corps Veteran: Rape & kidnapping, sentenced to life
Adam McKiski, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq
Tyrone Miller, US Marine Corps: 2 homicides, sentenced to life, no parole
Jan Pietrzak, US Marine Corps: Homicide victim
Quiana Pietrzak, US Marine Corps Spouse: Rape & homicide victim
Kesuan Sykes, US Marine Corps: 2 homicides, sentenced to death
Stewart Trejo, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq

2007:

Jon Bonnell Jr., US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq
Matthew Medlicott, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq
Rogelio Ramirez, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq
John Tanner, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq
Michael Tayaotao, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq
Cristian Vasquez, US Marine Corps: Died conducting combat operations, Iraq

2006:

Lawrence Hutchins III, US Marine Corps: Kidnapping, murder of Iraqi civilian

2005: 

Frank Wuterich, US Marine Corps: Accused of role in killing 24 unarmed Iraqis

2004:

Ryan Weemer, US Marine Corps: Acquitted in homicide of unarmed Iraqi detainee

1996:

Cassandra Corum, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, IL
Thomas Heffner, US Marine Corps: Attempted homicide victim
Lynn Huber, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, IL
Daniel Kidd, US Marine Corps: Homicide victim
Jessie Quintanilla, US Marine Corps: Homicide, sentenced to life
Laura Uylaki, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, IL

1993:

Kenneth Cook, US Marine Corps: Homicide of infant child, sentenced to life
Tiffani Cook, US Marine Corps Dependent: Homicide victim
Denise Maney, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, CA

1992:

Marilyn Allen, Civilian: Homicide victim, cold case, solved
Jennifer Asbenson, Civilian: Rape & abduction by Marine Andrew Urdiales, CA
Roosevelt Gipson, US Marine Corps: Manslaughter, sentenced to 11 yrs in prison

1991:

Lindell Mitchell, US Marine Corps: Homicide victim, cold case, solved

1989:

Tammie Erwin, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, CA

1988:

Julie McGhee, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, CA
Mary Ann Wells, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, CA

1986:

Robbin Brandley, Civilian: Homicide victim of Marine Andrew Urdiales, CA
Andrew Urdiales, US Marine Corps: Homicide of 8 women, sentenced to death

1985:

Kathleen Allen, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Lonnie Bond, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Michael Carroll, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Jeff Gerald, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Brenda O’Connor, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Cliff Peranteau, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Robert Scott Stapley: Missing, homicide victim

1984:

Richard Carrazza, Civilian: Attempted homicide victim
Paul Cosner, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Deborah Dubs, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Harvey Dubs, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim
Sean Dubs, Civilian: Missing child, homicide victim
Donald Giulietti, Civilian: Homicide victim

1983:

Charles Gunnar, Civilian: Missing, homicide victim

1982:

Charles Ng, US Marine Corps Veteran: Multiple rapes & 12 homicides, sentenced to death
Donald Lake, US Army Veteran: Missing, homicide victim
Leonard Lake, US Marine Corps Veteran: Multiple rapes & homicide, committed suicide

1980:

Eugene Brunelle, US Marine Corps: Homicide victim
Roy Garcia, US Marine Corps: Homicide of Marine, sentenced to 20 yrs to life

Related Links:
Seven Marines, Navy corpsman charged with murder in Iraqi civilian’s death

Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2016)

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John Blauvelt, US Army

Active duty US Army recruiter John Blauvelt is a wanted fugitive by the US Marshals Service (USMS) for the murder of his estranged wife Catherine Blauvelt on October 26, 2016 in South Carolina. After allegedly murdering his wife, John Blauvelt fled the state with another young female who was later found safe in Eugene, Oregon. The USMS considers Blauvelt armed and dangerous and suspects that he is located somewhere on the west coast. According to the USMS, any information leading directly to John Blauvelt’s capture is eligible for a reward of up to $2,500. Please contact the USMS tip line at 1-800-336-0102 or by email at usms.wanted@usdoj.gov.

Related Links:
Police say accused wife-killer threatened wife months ago
Simpsonville woman’s estranged husband wanted for her murder
Warrant: Man charged with murder after wife found dead, may be traveling with 17-year-old
Missing SC teen could be with man accused of murdering his wife, police say
Missing teen found in Eugene
U.S. Marshals seeking murder suspect
U.S. Marshals searching for murder suspect
Army deserter wanted for murder may be in Oregon
Army deserter wanted for wife’s murder may be in Oregon
Marshals: South Carolina murder suspect hiding in western U.S.
Marshals: Army deserter wanted for S.C. murder ‘could be anywhere along the West Coast’
U.S. Army Deserter Suspected of Killing Wife May Come to San Diego
Manhunt for Army deserter accused of killing wife in South Carolina
Manhunt for Army deserter who ‘killed his estranged wife in South Carolina then ran off with his 17-year-old girlfriend’
Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive Army Recruiter
US Marshals offer reward for information about US soldier suspected of murdering wife
Police release 911 calls, details about couple’s troubled past amid ongoing murder investigation
Suspected Killer on the Run via Crime Watch Daily
Manhunt Underway for Veteran Suspected in Wife’s Murder (Part 1)
Manhunt Underway for Veteran Suspected in Wife’s Murder (Part 2)
New Security Footage in Search For ‘Armed and Dangerous’ Fugitive Army Recruiter
Army Most Wanted Fugitives: John Tufton Blauvelt


Cati Blauvelt, 22, was left to die alone in terror. Now, her husband is a suspect. And he’s on the run. -Crime Watch Daily

Fort Hood Army Pvt. Dakota Stump Found Dead on Post Three Weeks After Vehicle Accident; Family Wants Missing ‘Warrior Alert’ Law (2016)

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Pvt. Dakota Stump, US Army

Pvt. Dakota Stump, 19, US Army, went missing from Fort Hood, Texas on October 10, 2016. The family confirmed Dakota was found dead on November 3rd, 2016 on the base. Military officials said Stump’s remains were found next to his flipped-over vehicle 100 yards from the roadway on Fort Hood. An investigator told Dakota’s mother Patrice Wise that his car had rolled multiple times and he was ejected but the crash scene wasn’t visible from the road. Patrice claimed Army officials said they searched the area but because his phone pinged off a cell phone tower in Indiana they thought he was Absent Without Leave (AWOL). Patrice’s response: ‘He was laying in the woods, and nobody would go look.’ Patrice has since started a petition to pass Dakota’s Law which would create a ‘Warrior Alert’ when soldiers go missing. Learn more here:

We need to change Standard Operating Procedures on how Law Enforcement and Military handle situations when our Veterans and Active Duty Members go missing. Which will in turn allow not only Law Enforcement and Military Officials the tools to better locate these individuals, but will help the families and any veterans organizations to assist as well. –Dakota’s Law Petition

Related Links:
Indiana soldier goes missing at Fort Hood
Central Indiana soldier missing from Fort Hood
Family and friends concerned for missing Fort Hood soldier
The Army Needs Your Help Finding A Missing Fort Hood Soldier
The Army needs your help finding a missing Fort Hood soldier
Fort Hood Community Looking for Missing Indiana Soldier
Missing Fort Hood soldier found dead
Missing soldier from Avon found dead at Fort Hood
Soldier missing since Oct. 10 found dead at Fort Hood
Missing soldier from Avon found dead (YouTube)
U.S. Army soldier, Avon native found dead in Fort Hood
Missing Indiana soldier found dead at Fort Hood
Missing Central Indiana soldier found dead on Fort Hood Army base
Family confirms missing Fort Hood soldier found dead
Missing soldier’s mom: ‘He was laying in the woods, and nobody would go look’
Soldier found dead on post 3 weeks after he went missing; mother says Army failed to look for him
Body of missing Fort Hood soldier found 100 yards from roadway
Flags directed to half-staff to honor Private Dakota Stump
Flags to be flown at half-staff for Indiana soldier killed in Fort Hood car accident
Governor Pence Directs Flags Be Lowered to Half-staff Statewide to Honor Hoosier Army Private Dakota Stump Killed in Fort Hood Car Accident
Family of Indiana soldier who went missing for weeks hopes to change search protocols at military bases
Family of Fort Hood soldier who went missing wants “warrior alert” law
Mother of Late Fort Hood Soldier Petitions to Enact ‘WARRIOR Alert’
Dead soldier’s family claims ‘incompetence’ at Fort Hood
Dead soldier’s mother, Army discuss search protocol
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
Justice for Dakota on Facebook
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
Justice For Dakota Stump (GoFundMe)
PETITION: Dakota’s Law


Dakota Stump Singing ‘Missing Warrior’ recording before he was found dead.

Heath Phillips, Active Duty Military & Veterans Advocate, a Voice for Male Victims of Crime

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Heath Phillips, US Navy

Heath Phillips is a US Navy veteran who served his country honorably up until he became a victim of sexual assault while on board the ship he was assigned to. As a result of the crimes, Heath chose not to go back to the ship in an effort to escape the hazing, retaliation, and further sexual and physical assault that awaited him. Instead he went Absent Without Leave (AWOL) and was eventually given an Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge from the military. As a result of the discharge status, his life has been impacted greatly up to and including not having the ability to access veteran’s health care and compensation at the Department of Veterans Affairs for the injuries he sustained in the line of duty. Since 2009, he has been an active voice for male victims of crimes in the military and has helped to educate the public about male military sexual assault issues. He has helped Representative Jackie Speier gain support for the Sexual Assault Training, Oversight, and Prevention Act (STOP Act). He has supported Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in efforts to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA). He advocated on behalf of the Human Rights Watch organization for passage of the Fairness for Veterans Act. He continues to work closely with organizations and members of Congress to elevate support for male victims of crimes in the military and improve care for them in active duty and veteran status.

Uniform Betrayal: Rape in the Military (Documentary)
Heath’s Story of Surviving Military Sexual Assault
Military Rape Speech 6 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Rape in the Military, The Rest of the Story…
Male sailor went AWOL to avoid being repeatedly gang raped
Service members choose AWOL over rape
Breaking the Silence: Men who are sexually assaulted in the military often find it difficult to report the crime, that’s one reason they rarely get justice.
Gillibrand Opening Statement at Senate Subcommittee Hearing Examining Impact of Military Sexual Assault, Links to PTSD and Suicides
Son, Men Don’t Get Raped
Sexual assault survivor addresses Soldiers of Combat Aviation Brigade
Command Highlights (April 2016): A Look at What the Army Commands Are Doing In Their SHARP Programs (FORSCOM)
Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors
Military Sexual Assault Victims Discharged After Filing Complaints
Derogatory discharge papers blight lives of military who report sexual assault
New Report Says Pentagon Not Doing Enough For Sexual Assault Victims
Derogatory Discharge Papers Blight Lives Of Military Who Report Sexual Assault
Military must do right by wrongly-discharged sexual assault victims, advocates say
Coffman Introduces Fairness for Veterans Act (Ensures veterans with PTSD receive due consideration in post-discharge appeals process)
Why the Navy is making a major change in its approach to PTSD

Army Soldier Joseph Kimsey and Jonathan Nelson Found Guilty of Murdering Ashley Melnyczok; Both Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole (2015)

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Joseph Kimsey, US Army (top left), Jonathan Nelson (bottom left), and Ashley Melnyczok (right)

Fort Carson Army soldier Joseph Kimsey, 23, murdered Ashley Melnyczok with Jonathan Nelson on June 3, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During trial, it was revealed that Ashley was stabbed, bludgeoned, and left to die with a plastic bag taped over her head in her apartment, the result of a deadly robbery plot. According to authorities, Melnyczok advertised her escort services online and on a personal website; she was targeted for up to $20,000 in cash she kept under her bed. Kimsey and Nelson met in the El Paso County jail in the weeks before the murder and initially plotted to steal from Melnyczok as a means of getting money to post bond. Jonathan Nelson was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in February 2017. Joseph Kimsey was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in March 2017.

Related Links:
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested after being found in car wanted in murder case
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested in ex-girlfriend’s death
Family Goat Helps Catch Fugitive; Fort Carson Confirms Suspect Is Soldier
Police make second arrest in northeastern Colorado Springs murder
AWOL soldier arrested in death of Colorado Springs woman
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested in ex-girlfriend’s death
Colorado Springs police arrest AWOL Fort Carson soldier as 2nd suspect in killing
AWOL Fort Carson Soldier Arrested in Death of Colorado Springs Woman
Two ordered to stand trial in stabbing death of Colorado Springs woman
Hearing in homicide of Colorado Springs woman focuses on involvement of man levied with upgraded murder charge
Verdict reached for Colorado Springs murder suspect
Man convicted in 2015 murder at Colorado Springs apartment complex
Ex-Fort Carson soldier sentenced to life without parole in escort slaying
Jury selection begins for man accused of killing Colorado Springs woman
Colorado Springs prostitute had a ‘horrible, horrible, death,’ prosecutor says
Cell-phone records help seal murder conviction against former Fort Carson soldier
Second man found guilty of 2015 Colorado Springs murder
Second man found guilty of 2015 murder in Colorado Springs
Former Fort Carson soldier gets life for fatal stabbing
Violent Crime, Suicide and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)

California Army National Guardsman Noah Pippin Disappeared in September 2010; Body Recovered in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana (2012)

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Noah Pippin, US Marine Corps, California Army National Guard

On September 11, 2010, the California National Guard called the parents of Noah Pippin, 31, to ask where he was because he didn’t show up for military duty and that wasn’t like him. Nonetheless, Noah was listed as Absent Without Leave (AWOL). It was this phone call that would set off a series of events for the family of Noah Pippin who also knew that he wouldn’t normally shirk his responsibilities but they were concerned about him. Noah’s parents knew that he once served in the Marines and deployed to Iraq three times. To them, he seemed troubled, preoccupied and depressed the last time they saw him. They wondered if he committed suicide. The family began to trace his steps. Noah left Michigan on August 25, 2010 in a cab to go to the airport to get a rental car. In October 2010, the family remembered they had a picture of the cab and the number. They called the cab company and it was confirmed that Noah did go to airport and rented a car. Records indicate that Noah drove to Kalispell, Montana. The family questioned why Montana instead of California and wondered what happened to him.

At his family’s insistence, Noah visited with them for a week in Traverse, Michigan prior to his deployment with the National Guard to Afghanistan. Noah drove from California to Michigan with a U-haul full of his belongings so he could store them while he was deployed. He had abruptly quit his job 3 months earlier at the Los Angeles Police Department where he had been working for a year a half as a police officer. He decided the job was not working out so he left the position and volunteered to go back on active duty with the Army. Noah volunteered to go on a 13 month deployment to Afghanistan. Noah became a police officer after getting out of the US Marine Corps so when he became disillusioned about the job, he went back to what felt comfortable. Noah got rid of his apartment in California and then when he got to Michigan, he started giving away everything he owned. Noah’s parents questioned his decision to give away all his belongings and told him he could store some of his stuff in their basement. They also knew he deployed to Iraq 3 times and as a result of their observations asked him about his mental health. But he assured them he was okay.

Noah’s parents were already concerned about suicide and worried when Noah didn’t show up for his National Guard duty. They contacted police on September 24, 2010. Initially it appeared the police didn’t share their same concerns about Noah and even made assumptions about his AWOL status as if he was a malingerer. But after the family shared the information they had confirmed with the cab company, the police began to take notice. The police investigated and learned from cell phone records that Noah called a taxi in Hungry Horse but the taxi didn’t know where he went to. On August 31, 2010, all activity stopped on Noah’s cell phone. The family and police wondered if Noah stopped in Montana to do some hiking as a form of rest and relaxation before he was deployed. Credit card activity showed that Noah checked into a hotel on August 28, 2010 and stayed for two nights. Aside from credit card activity at local stores for supplies and a couple restaurants for meals, there was no more activity on his cell phone and credit card and it appears that Noah Pippin disappeared on August 31, 2010. Noah’s dad couldn’t help but wonder if he went to Montana to die. Where Noah went after he left the hotel in Hungry Horse remained a mystery for two years.

In December 2010, the family felt like Noah was probably was dead. His mom continued to send messages to his e-mail but he never responded. Then Noah’s brothers reminded their parents that some of Noah’s stuff was in the basement. The brothers suggested they go through his belongings to see if there were any clues to his disappearance. Noah’s parents admitted it was hard to go through his stuff but they began the process and found a notebook that contained detailed directions to a place called Blue lakes which was south of Glacier National Park in Montana. They also found a list of supplies one would take on a wilderness trek. It appeared that Noah planned on going to Glacier National Park but didn’t mention it to his family. After learning this information, they couldn’t help but assume Noah went there to clear his head. Now the concern was why didn’t he show up for military duty and why haven’t they heard from him. The hotel in Hungry Horse called a month later and informed the police they found some of Noah’s property in the lost and found. This property included cell phone and computer chargers but the cell phone and computer were not present. At this point police thought maybe Noah was a victim of robbery and foul play, maybe even a homicide victim.

The police needed an eye witness who may have seen Noah. In February 2011, the family shared developments in the case with the media while the police contacted the Forest Service. The police talked to people who occupied cabins in the area but no one had seen him. Some witnesses thought they saw Noah walking on the road but couldn’t confirm it was him. At this time, police had no more leads to follow and they all had to wait for the snow to melt before they could begin searching for him. In June 2012, Noah’s parents went to the Blue Lakes to look for him. They noted that they were pleased Noah’s last known location was in such a beautiful place. Eventually witnesses contacted the family to share that Noah showed up to their camping spot. They provided details that he talked about being in the military and deploying to Iraq, therefore he was positively identified. It appears that Noah followed through with his plans to hike to the Blue Lakes and then he headed to the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Noah’s parents were relieved to know he was alive two weeks after his cellphone activity stopped. But now it appears Noah deliberately didn’t go back to active duty with the National Guard. Shirking his responsibilities was not like Noah so why would he go AWOL?

It was September 15, 2010 when the witnesses ran into Noah while they were setting up their camp. They said it appeared that he only had a day pack which wasn’t the norm for someone so far back in the wilderness. Noah said he was going to hike along the Chinese Wall where there was no trail. The family offered Noah dinner and to put him up for the night but he declined and insisted on continuing on his hike. The next day, the weather pattern changed and the family sensed a snow storm was on the way so they left immediately and got caught in blizzard like conditions on the way out. The family thought if Noah got caught up in these conditions, it could be dangerous. A ranger also contacted the family and confirmed that he witnessed Noah sleeping on the trail on September 15, 2010 and it appeared he was heading towards the Chinese Wall. The ranger observed Noah wasn’t equipped for the trip too. Everyone acknowledged that a two day’s hike from civilization could be very dangerous in winter conditions. It was hard to anticipate what could happen in the mountains in blizzard like conditions and the outlook was bleak. Police began a recovery mission after learning this information and a helicopter search team looked for him in August 2011 but he was not spotted.  The inconclusive search gave the family hope but they wanted closure.

On August 24, 2012, Noah Pippin’s body was recovered and reports indicate that Noah died from exposure. Noah Pippin froze to death in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Related Links:
Missing Hiker Last Seen in Montana Backcountry
Missing Hiker: Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT
Why Noah Went to the Woods
Into the Woods: The Noah Pippin Case
Ex-Marine from Michigan missing since last year
Missing Marine story to air on cable Feb. 27
Did Noah Pippin Go AWOL? | Disappeared
A Soldier’s Story: Noah Pippin | Disappeared
Noah Pippin Investigation Continues
Human remains found in Montana wilderness believed to be missing Iraq war veteran who vanished two years ago
Search party finds body of Suttons Bay man missing in Montana wilderness since 2010
Lost son found
Missing Marine’s Remains Identified
New evidence found in Marine’s wilderness death
Missing Marine likely died of exposure during blizzard in Bob Marshall Wilderness
Former Suttons Bay High School Graduate’s Body Found in Montana After Two Year Search
Missing Iraq war veteran’s remains found in Bob Marshall Wilderness
The Disappearance of Noah Pippin – Part 1: Vanished Into Thin Air
The Disappearance of Noah Pippin – Part 2: Nothing Shall Be Impossible


In August 2010, 31-year-old ex-marine Noah Pippin left Michigan to report to the California National Guard. But Noah never shows up. Police trace his path to the forests of Montana, leaving Noah’s parents to wonder why he is venturing into the wild. -Investigation Discovery

JBLM Army Soldier Nathan Smith Accused of Kidnapping, Rape, Attempted Rape, Torture, and Arson; Sentenced to 11 Years to Life in Prison (2009)

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Nathan Smith, US Army

According to ABC News, US Army Staff Sgt. Nathan Ryan Smith, 29, was charged with kidnapping, rape, arson, and tampering with evidence in the State of Washington. Fort Lewis Army personnel reported that Nathan Smith was Absent Without Leave (AWOL) as of January 5, 2009. Washington state investigators said Smith was suspected of kidnapping and attacking two women.

Smith was accused of grabbing one woman on January 1, 2009 in a Tacoma, Washington parking lot. He allegedly choked her until she became unconscious. The woman claimed when she woke up, she was naked and bound with zip ties in someone’s house. When she tried to free herself, she says she heard a man say, “If you fight, you’ll die.” Then she alleged the man put a knife to her face and said, “If you cooperate, you’ll go home.” According to this victim, the man believed to be Nathan Smith then gagged her and raped her. He also used electrified clamps to torture her and told the woman “If you tell anybody, police or anyone, I will kill you and your family. I can find you. I will find you.”

“After he allegedly raped one woman, Smith told her, I have killed several people in Iraq. I’m crazy in the head, and if I get caught by police I will come looking for you and kill you.” –ABC News

The second victim the police identified was a woman who was kidnapped on January 3, 2009. She claimed once they arrived at the assailant’s home, he choked her until she blacked out. She told police that when she woke up, her hands were bound and she had a gag in her mouth. She managed to escape and ran to a neighbor’s house who called the Washington State police. The second woman gave a similar description as the first victim of the man who kidnapped her. She also identified the same car the first victim identified, the same car Nathan Smith drove.

In both instances the victims said their attacker fit Smith’s description and drove the same kind of car that is registered to Smith. Washington State Police reported that Fort Lewis Army soldier Nathan Smith served as a calvary scout in Iraq from September 2006 to October 2007 and has military and wilderness survival skills. Nathan Smith is considered extremely dangerous. When finally captured and arrested, The News Tribune in Tacoma reported that Smith pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. In 2010, Smith changed his plea to guilty; guilty of one count of second-degree rape, one count of attempted second-degree rape, and one count of first-degree arson. The prosecutor requested 12 years for Smith, adding the brutality he inflicted on the women was off the charts. The Judge sentenced Smith to 11 years to life in prison and it will be up to the Washington state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to determine when, if ever, Smith is released.

He apologized to the women before being sentencing, saying he hopes the pain he caused them does not endure. He also apologized to his former comrades in arms. “They’re in Iraq right now, which is where I should be,” said Smith, a former cavalry scout with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division…Defense attorney Wayne Fricke requested a low-end sentence of nine years, three months, saying his client had served his country honorably before going over the line with the women – prostitutes he’d hired to have sex with him. –The News Tribune

Related Links:
AWOL Soldier Wanted in Kidnappings, Rape
Ex-soldier gets 11 years to life in Parkland sexual assault case
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (US Army)

Army Veteran Kirby Archer Commits String of Crimes After Dishonorable Discharge Including Four Murders in an Attempt to Flee to Cuba (2007)

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Kirby Archer, US Army Veteran

Army veteran Kirby Archer and Guillermo Zarabozo offered to pay a Miami, Florida based charter company $4000 to take them to Bimini to meet up with their girlfriends. The Joe Cool agreed and the two headed out with Jake Branam, Kelley Branam, Scott Gamble, and Samuel Kairy. When they didn’t return home on Sunday, their families began to worry. They eventually contacted the United States Coast Guard for assistance with locating them. The USCG found the boat off the coast of Cuba, 140 miles off course. They also found two survivors: Archer and Zarabozo. The two claimed to be victims of crimes. They said the boat had been hijacked and the other four were shot. They claimed their lives were spared because they knew Spanish and were asked to drive the boat until it ran out of gas. Both the USCG and the Federal Bureau of Investigation got involved with this case. They learned that Kirby Archer was dishonorably discharged from the Army after he went Absent Without Leave (AWOL).

He was arrested for child sexual abuse and was on the run after stealing money from his place of employment. It is believed that he met Zarabozo at Guantanamo Bay where Archer was once assigned; Zarabozo was a child refugee. They made plans to flee to Cuba and used the Joe Cool to execute the plan. Both of them were arrested for lying to federal agents. After Zarabozo’s home was searched, they found shell casings that matched those found on the boat. They also observed that Zarabozo’s 9 mm was not in the case and unaccounted for. Both Archer and Zarabozo were charged with sixteen counts including four murders. There was no body and no murder weapons so it was considered a circumstantial case. The defendants turned on each other but the prosecutors were able to show how it took both men to commit the crimes against the four individuals on the boat. There were two guns used in the commission of the crimes, therefore both were involved. Archer and Zarabozo were sentenced to five consecutive life terms. The Joe Cool slip is empty to this day. Jake and Kelley Branam’s children are living with her sister in Washington.

Related Links:
Murder on the High Seas
U.S. Coast Guard Seeks Four Missing Boaters Headed for Bimini Islands
FBI Questions Wal-Mart Robbery Fugitive, Rescued Boater About Missing Crew
Yacht skipper’s family hopeful boaters still alive
2 accused of killing 4 people on boat plead not guilty
Kirby Archer Criminal Complaint
Guillermo Zarabozo Criminal Complant
Convicted ‘Joe Cool’ Boat Killer Gets Life in Prison
Defendant Reveals Grisly Details in ‘Joe Cool’ Boat Murder Case
Inmate Claims Suspect in 4 Killings Aboard Fishing Boat Admitted Role in Deaths
Jury Selection to Begin in ‘Joe Cool’ Boat Murder Case
Defendant: Partner shot crew
Man convicted in killings
Joe Cool Teen Killer Gets Five Life Terms Plus 85 Years
‘Joe Cool’ Killer Gets Life Sentences
Wikipedia: Kirby Logan Archer
Lost at Sea
Charley Project: Kelly Branam
Charley Project: Jake Branam
Charley Project: Scott Gamble
Murder in Paradise: Hook, Line and Murder (YouTube)
Fatal Encounters: Fatal Voyage (YouTube)
Murder on the High Seas: The True Story of the Joe Cool’s Tragic Final Voyage


The crew of a luxury charter yacht falls prey to a fugitive’s cold-blooded escape plan en route to Bimini, a remote Bahamian paradise in the Bermuda Triangle. -Discovery ID

Pfc Suzanne Swift, US Army, Went AWOL from Fort Lewis in 2006, She Refused to Deploy for a Third Time with Superiors She Accused of Sexual Harassment

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Spc. Suzanne Swift, US Army

“I can’t do this, Mom, I can’t go back there.” -Suzanne Swift

Pfc. Suzanne Swift, US Army, was a Military Police Officer stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington. She had already deployed twice to Iraq before getting tasked to go again for the third time in less then four years. In January 2006, Suzanne Swift decided last minute to go Absent without Leave (AWOL) instead of going back to Iraq. According to her mother, Sara Rich, she couldn’t handle another deployment dealing with the daily hour-to-hour sexual harassment that she endured from the majority of her male officers and fellow soldiers. She felt especially isolated in Iraq and feared being attacked, harassed, molested, and raped. She told her mom that most of the other soldiers were sexually harassing her, pressuring her to consent, and making her life miserable for rejecting them. Her mom asked her if she wanted to report the sexual harassment and Suzanne did not. She told her mom that reporting would only make her life even more of a living hell. She says when she did blow the whistle on one of her superiors for sexually harassing her, she was treated like a pariah. Suzanne shared that he was moved to a different unit and promoted. She felt that those who reported were not supported but instead shamed when they brought these matters to the attention of their superiors.

According to Suzanne, Army leadership pressured her into signing a release form waiving her right to the mandatory decompression time of eighteen months between deployments. Suzanne refused to sign the form waiving her rights to decompression time but was told that her life would be ‘hell in a shit hole’ if she refused to sign. She says they screamed in her face and intimidated her. As a result she signed the form and was scheduled to leave for Iraq again in January 2006. The Eugene Police raided her home in March 2006, she was arrested, and she was taken back to Fort Lewis where she would be confined. She was charged with missing movement and AWOL. In December 2006, Suzanne pleaded guilty to both charges and was demoted and sentenced to thirty days in prison. If she met the conditions of the plea agreement, she could remain in the Army and be eligible for a honorable discharge. After she finished her sentence she would be reassigned to a new unit. If she did not agree to the plea, she was facing a year in prison and a dishonorable discharge. Her plea, which came during a summary court martial, helped her avoid a federal conviction. Suzanne chose to leave the Army as soon as she could. She would later be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Suzanne and her mother believe that the intimidation and sexual harassment that female soldiers endure is leading to massive stress and in some cases even death for military women in Iraq. So much stress that Suzanne would choose AWOL and prison time over deploying a third time to fight what she felt was a pointless war in Iraq. Sara Rich is confident that Suzanne saved her own life with her courage. And based on what has happened in the Army in Iraq and at Joint Base Lewis-McChord since 2006, we think she’s right.

Read More:
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

“Notice to those who report false claims of rape, harassment, assault, and command rape: you make it difficult for those who experience the real thing. You are just as culpable as those who commit the acts.” –Suzanne Swift Petition

Related Links:
Sara Rich | A Moment of Silence Is Not Enough
Sara Rich | Fear for My Daughter
Protest in support of Suzanne Swift at Ft. Lewis gates on Sat., Jul. 15
Rallying for Suzanne Swift
An Update on U.S. Army Specialist Suzanne Swift
CNN: This Week at War
Army Spc Suzanne Swift, Iraq vet and sexual assault victim, supporters rally at Ft Lewis
Iraq Vets’ Sit-in for Suzanne Swift is Successful
The ordeal of Suzanne Swift
Petition for Suzanne Swift
Support Suzanne Swift!
Command Rape
Female Soldiers Treated ‘Lower Than Dirt’
Abuse of women GIs: Good men must check bad ones
Iraq Veteran Says Harassment Prompted Desertion
From Victim To Accused Army Deserter
U.S. soldier goes AWOL — alleges sexual harassment / Enemy lines: She deserted the Army just before her 2nd tour in Iraq, not because of the war, she says, but because her superiors preyed on her
Fort Lewis soldier will face trial
G.I. war resister Suzanne Swift to be court-martialed
NWI Statement of Support for Suzanne Swift
America’s secret war
Spc. Suzanne Swift Signs Statement with Military After Harassment Claim, AWOL Status Lead to Court-Martial
Female soldier sentenced to 30 days for going AWOL
Soldier who claimed sex harassment, refused to return to Iraq freed from military custody
For Female Soldiers, Sexual Assault Remains a Danger
The Women’s War
Featured War Resister: Suzanne Swift
Soldier from Eugene Freed from Confinement
Spc. Suzanne Swift Released from Military Prison, Supporters Rally at Ft. Lewis
Fort Lewis private out of custody
Sexual Assault in the Military: A DoD Cover-Up?
Catching up with military resister Suzanne Swift
Oregon veteran among troops suffering sexual trauma
US Female Soldiers Raped by Male Comrades Have Trouble Seeking Justice
The Plight of Women Soldiers
Rape within Military: 1 in 3 women service members sexually assaulted at least once
A voice for women military vets
Iraq Veterans Against the War Profile of Resisters
Paying It Forward Thanks to Army Specialist Suzanne Swift
Law Office of Keith J. Scherer, PC (Military Trial Lawyer)

Shaun Cleland, US Army (2005)

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Shaun Cleland, US Army

Army soldier Shaun Cleland was found guilty of the first degree murder of David Heinricht on October 2, 2005 in Ohio. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Related Links:
Soldier accused of strangling man
AWOL soldier jailed in Brunswick slaying
Soldier gets life term for murder
Ex-soldier sentenced for murder of wife’s boyfriend
Former Hawai’i soldier gets life in prison for strangling
Gone In 50 Seconds
Did Jealousy Drive a Military Man to Murder?
Former soldier to stand trial
Medina soldier wins retrial in Brunswick murder
Ex-soldier who confessed to killing wife’s boyfriend gets new trial
Medina man who pleaded guilty to killing wife’s boyfriend gets new trial
Shaun Cleland Guilty
Shaun Cleland convicted again for killing his estranged wife’s boyfriend
Shaun Cleland gets life sentence for killing David Heinricht in Brunswick
35 to life for Shaun Cleland second time around
Hearing Includes Memorial
Hearing Includes Memorial: 50 seconds of silence part of sentencing for Shaun Cleland
State of Ohio v. Shaun Cleland (2012)
Cleland to get resentencing hearing in 2005 Brunswick murder
Shaun M Cleland (Mugshot)
20/20 On ID Lives Cut Short Daniel Enchategui & David Heinricht Murders
Deadly Affairs: Recipe for Disaster (Amazon Video)
Deadly Affairs: Recipe for Disaster (Investigation Discovery)


Shaun Cleland’s military career separates him from his young bride. And when they each take lovers, someone is bound to lose it all. -Discovery ID