10 Unsolved Military Cases

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Darlene Krashoc, U.S. Army

UPDATE: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; DNA Match Leads to Arrest of Michael Whyte (March 17, 1987)

Gordon Hess

Captain Gordon Hess, U.S. Army

Army Captain Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Military Investigators Ruled Suicide Despite the 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)

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Col. Philip Shue, U.S. Air Force

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (2003)

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, U.S. Army

Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)

Nonnie Dotson

Nonnie Dotson, U.S. Air Force

Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

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SrA Blanca Luna, U.S. Air Force

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

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SSG Anton Phillips, U.S. Army

Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)

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Katherine Morris, U.S. Army Spouse

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Sean Wells, U.S. Army

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Sean Wells Gunned Down in Home by Two Masked Men in Fayetteville, Family Asks for Help Solving Case (2013)

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Pvt. Justin Lewis, U.S. Army

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

CASES SOLVED BY NCIS COLD CASE SQUAD:

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Andrew Muns, U.S. Navy

Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty to Strangling Andrew Muns on the USS Cacapon After Caught Stealing $8,600 from Navy Ship’s Safe, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solves Case (1968)

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Lt Verle ‘Lee’ Hartley, U.S. Navy

Lt Verle Lee Hartley, US Navy, Died of Arsenic Poisoning in 1982, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder 13 Years Later, Wife Pamela Plead Guilty (1982)

Related Links:
Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Investigators Persisted When Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Disappeared in North Carolina, Convicted Sex Offender Nicholas Holbert Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (2012)

‘Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training’ by Carter F. Smith Released (September 15, 2017)

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Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training by Carter F. Smith

From the Author: The book documents the long history of gang members (street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and domestic terrorist – extremists) with military training in parallel with the history of the United States. Gang members have served in the military in each of the wartime eras and they continue to serve today. Some are trying to use the military to get out of the gang life – many are not. The criminals not only tarnish the reputation of the military, they increase the dangerousness of our communities. 

Description: Over the past several decades, there has been a continuous and growing focus on street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and domestic terrorist and extremist groups. Many of these groups have members with military training, and some actively recruit from current and former military veterans and retirees. That military experience adds to the dangerousness of veteran gang members, as well as those groups they associate with.

In the News:

Gangs in the Military (Fort Hood). -Carter F. Smith (April 18, 2011)

An internal report, obtained by Military.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that gang members were tied to dozens of Army felony law enforcement reports and more than 100 criminal investigations in fiscal 2018, the latest year for which data is available. While these reports and investigations make up less than 1% of all Army law enforcement incidents, the new report shows that the little-discussed problem of military gang activity continues to be a headache for base commanders and other service leaders.” –Army Street Gang Activity is Increasing, Internal Report Report Shows, Military.com (August 17, 2020)

Related Links:
Gangs and the Military and Carter Smith (Website)
Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training by Carter F. Smith
Gangs and the Military and Carter Smith on C-SPAN (October 14, 2017)
10News I-Team Investigates Gangs In The Military
Red, White and Gangs: The problem of street gangs in the military
WREG Finds Soldier Living Double Life As Gang Member
MTSU professor wins 3rd top national award for gang violence research
East Side Storytellin’117 – When Carter F. Smith Described the Worst of Humanity and Ali Sperry Brought Us Back to Life
Gangs in the US Army Documentary | Military Justice for All
Army Street Gang Activity Is Increasing, Internal Report Shows

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Died by Suicide While on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; Delay in Medical Care Contributed to Death (August 2, 2017)

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Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

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Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

Related Links:
U.S. Army SPC Zachary Moore Funeral – 8/11/17
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Spc. Zachary Charles Moore
Spc. Zachary Moore, 1st Cavalry Division
Fort Hood soldier dies in South Korea
Fort Hood soldier dies in Korea
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in barracks in South Korea identified
Soldier from VB dies after being found unresponsive in South Korea barrack
Virginia Beach soldier dies in South Korea
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Soldier deaths in South Korea put spotlight on US military suicide crisis

Fort Hood CW02 Andre Nance, US Army, Found Unresponsive at Fort Rucker Hotel in Alabama While Attending Training (2017)

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CW02 Andre Nance, US Army

CW02 Andre Nance, 34, US Army, of Fort Hood was found unresponsive in his on-post hotel room at Fort Rucker, Alabama on February 27, 2017.  CW02 Nance’s home of record is listed as Randallstown, Maryland and he entered the Army in February 2004. CW02 Nance was attending the warrant officer advance course at Fort Rucker and was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, III Corps at Fort Hood. Nance deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from April 2009 to April 2010, January 2012 to March 2012, and June 2014 to March 2015. The circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID). The official cause of death is unknown.

Related Links:
CW2 Andre Nance lg.jpg
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andre George Nance – III Corps
Deceased Fort Rucker soldier identified
Fort Hood Soldier Found Dead in Alabama Hotel
Fort Hood soldier found unresponsive at Fort Rucker
Army IDs Fort Rucker soldier found dead on post
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in Alabama hotel identified
UPDATE: Soldier found dead at Fort Rucker hotel identified
Fort Hood soldier found dead on post in Alabama hotel
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier found dead in Alabama
Why Have So Many Fort Hood Army Soldiers Died Stateside in the Last Year?
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

Graphic courtesy of KWTX on Facebook (September 1, 2020)

In the last 5 years from January 2016 to present, Fort Hood on average lost 33 soldiers a year. If you divide 33 by 12 months, that’s an average of 3 soldiers a month. We must find out WHY so we can prevent these untimely deaths and save the precious lives and futures of these mostly young soldiers. The average age at time of death is 28 years old and each death has a ripple effect on the families, friends, and communities left behind. Help us hold leadership accountable by joining us at Military Justice for All on Facebook, IG, & Twitter (@Military_Crime).

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” -General Colin Powell

Fort Hood, Texas (U.S. Army)

  • Stars and Stripes Official Count: 167 total deaths
  • 157 deaths at Fort Hood since January 2016
  • 12 overseas deaths
    • 4 insider attacks (Afghanistan)
    • 2 combat deaths (Afghanistan-1; Iraq-1)
    • 5 non combat deaths (Afghanistan-2; Iraq-3)
    • 1 overseas death (suicide), Korea
  • 145 stateside deaths
    • 1 homicide on post (Vanessa Guillen)
    • 15 homicides off post (5 unsolved)
    • 24 deaths ruled suicide
    • 33 found dead on post
    • 16 found dead off post
    • 18 died in training accidents
    • 10 died in motorcycle accidents
    • 9 died in automobile accidents
    • 10 died from medical issues
    • 6 died in swimming/boating accidents
    • 1 died in pre-trial confinement at local jail
    • 1 declared dead after missing for 2 months
    • 1 veteran found dead at BLORA, Ft. Hood
    • 1 accidental gunshot wound to the head

We have been working in real time to collect the information about the soldiers we have lost stateside and overseas. We started these efforts a few years ago. Fort Hood has come up enough in on-line research to warrant investigations into a recurring problem with untimely deaths in the form of training accidents, vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, suicide, violent crime, non combat death, insider attacks, and unknown causes of death. We noticed a large spike in soldier death in November 2016 when we learned that four soldiers died stateside at Fort Hood and two died in a suicide bombing on a protected base in Afghanistan at the start of a Veteran’s Day “fun run.” Allan Brown eventually succumbed to his injuries from the blast in December 2016. And because we track military crime and suspicious death cases both stateside and overseas, we observe far more untimely death when looking at the big picture.

Since November 2016, we have lost many more Fort Hood soldiers which is why we created this post. There has been an unusually high cluster of deaths at one base in the last few years. The Army announced they were going to probe the unusually high death counts but like most things, the report will come back with some canned response to protect the Chain of Command. Therefore, we are doing our own probe because we care and we want to find ways to learn from the past in an effort to save lives. After doing a google search ‘Soldier Found Dead Fort Hood’ we learned that 2016 was a tough year for the post and surrounding area in general. We want to acknowledge the families who have lost their loved ones. We want to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the soldiers who have died. And, we want to acknowledge the soldiers who were impacted by the untimely deaths of their fellow comrades. It can’t be easy for a post to lose one soldier, let alone over one hundred in three years. Join us on Military Justice for all on Facebook and help us honor them and their friends and families by never forgetting.

Update (January 26, 2019):

There are no words right now for how incredibly sad it is for us to post this today. We not only care about these soldiers (and veterans) who have passed at Fort Hood but we care deeply for the families, friends and troops left behind. We share this with you so you will understand the magnitude of the issues we have with untimely stateside deaths in an effort to honor those who have passed and learn from it so we can find ways to prevent it from happening to others.

We are especially disappointed with Fort Hood leadership who made the decision to stop providing the public with press releases notifying us of the death of a soldier in March 2018. A friend and military spouse whose been working on this project gently reminded all of us, it actually does a disservice to the families who need the community’s support and love at one of the most difficult times in their lives. Ultimately, it should be up to the families to make that decision and it comes at a time when we are laser focused on III Corps and Fort Hood, because we care.

Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (October 21, 2016)

15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

Fort Hood Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq in 2007; Family Requests Congressional Hearings & Investigation of Military Leadership (2020)

Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta Died by Suicide at Naval Station Norfolk in 2018; Family Pushing for Suicide Prevention Legislation ‘The Brandon Act’ Focusing on Hazing & Bullying (2020)

Military Murder Podcast Featured the Homicide of Fort Hood Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq; Friendly Fire or Military Cover-Up? (July 13, 2020)

HISTORY:

February 2015
Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit

*cod unknown = cause of death unknown
**BLORA = Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area

January 2016
1/3: Devin Schuette, 35, U.S. Army (found dead at BLORA near post, death ruled suicide, family wants independent investigation, suspicious death)
1/5: Jonathan “Mike” Gilotti, 33, U.S. Army Veteran (homicide victim, Alabama)
1/16: Troy Wayman, 45, U.S. Army (officer found dead, ruled suicide, Nolanville)

March 2016
3/6: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, U.S. Army (fatal auto accident off post, manslaughter)
3/14: Brian Reed, 40, U.S. Army (found dead w/ gunshot wound off post)
3/20: Andrew Poznick, 45, U.S. Army (officer found dead in Pennsylvania)
3/22: Steven Lewis, 33, U.S. Army (died of self-inflicted wound off post)

May 2016
5/1: John Stobbe, 31, U.S. Army (found dead off post, cause of death unknown)
5/9: Ellsworth Raup, 33, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post)
5/23: Marcus Nelson, 45, U.S. Army (died while in pre-trial confinement at local jail, suspicious death)

June 2016
6/2: Christine Armstrong, 27, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Brandon Banner, 22, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Isaac Deleon, 19, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Zachery Fuller, 23, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Eddy Gates, 20, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Tysheena James, 21, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Yingming Sun, 25, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Mitchell Winey, 21, U.S. Military Academy (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/5: Antino Glass, 34, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident on post)
6/6: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound on post)
6/8: Duane Shaw, 34, U.S. Army (found dead in off post home in Killeen)
6/11: Dougal Mitchell, 32, U.S. Army (fatal automobile accident off post)

July 2016
7/12: Alexander Johnson, 21, U.S. Army (found dead at BLORA near post, cod unknown)

August 2016
8/1: Logan Rainwater, 24, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post, Killeen)
8/4: Calvin Aguilar, 32, U.S. Army (found dead off post, cod unknown)
8/19: Dion Servant, 24, U.S. Army (found dead on post, cod unknown)

September 2016
9/10: Stacy Hardy, 20, U.S. Army (died of injuries sustained after a high-speed motorcycle crash while fleeing from the the Killeen Police Department)
9/13: Andrew Hunt, 23, U.S. Army (officer found dead at on post residence, cod unknown)
9/17: Nathan Berg, 20, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound off post)

October 2016
10/7: Bradley Acker, 25, U.S. Army (death was self-inflicted at off post residence)
10/15: Douglas Bailey, 24, U.S. Army (found dead at on post residence, cod unknown)
10/19: Douglas Riney, 26, U.S. Army (ambushed by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform)

November 2016
11/3: Dakota Stump, 19, U.S. Army (found dead on post 3 weeks after went missing, cod single vehicle accident, suspicious death, family wants ‘Missing Warrior Alert’ law)
11/10: Daniel Monibe, 32, U.S. Army (died of medical illness off post)
11/12: Tyler Iubelt, 20, U.S. Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
11/12: John Perry, 30, U.S. Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
11/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, U.S. Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana)
11/18: Korey James, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive in off post home, cod unknown)
11/26: Wanya Bruns, 20, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound off-post)

December 2016
12/6: Allan Brown, 46, U.S. Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
12/24: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, U.S. Army (found dead in vehicle at on post family housing, suspicious death, family wants case investigated as a homicide)

January 2017
1/1: Kai Yancey, 26, U.S. Army (died after complications from short illness)
1/2: Randal Anderson, 22, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound off-post, Killeen)
1/7: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, U.S. Army (fatal auto accident on South Range Rd on post)
1/11: Alex Taylor, 23, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide, found dead at place of duty on post)
1/12: Zackary Partin, 24, U.S. Army (found dead in barracks room on post, cod unknown)

February 2017
2/5: Steven Hines, 29, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide, CID Agent found dead at place of duty on post after media exposes bizarre cluster of suicides & accidents on post)
2/6: Christie Anderson, 44, U.S. Army (found dead at off post residence, cod unknown)
2/17: Michael Garcia, 29, U.S. Army (died in vehicle training accident at Fort Irwin NTC)
2/18: Sean Callahan, 31, U.S. Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa, unsolved homicide)
2/21: Brian Odiorne, 21, U.S. Army (non combat death in Iraq, death ruled suicide by CID)
2/27: Andre Nance, 34, U.S. Army (found dead on post at Fort Rucker, AL, cod unknown)

March 2017
3/26: Jonathan Garcia, 29, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post, Harker Heights)

April 2017
4/7: Daniel Wildeman, 40, U.S. Army (found dead on post in barracks, cod unknown)
4/11: Darius Cooper, 40, U.S. Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after missing for two months, vehicle swept away in low water crossing on post)
4/16: David Ananou, 30, U.S. Army (death by apparent drowning at Belton Lake)
4/17: Justin Lewis, 19, U.S. Army (fatally shot near vacant lot in Killeen neighborhood, unsolved homicide)

May 2017
5/5: Travis Granger, 29, U.S. Army Veteran (fatal gunshot wound, ruled homicide)
5/14: Jon Bullard, 40, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off post residence in Temple, died next day)

June 2017
6/15: Devon Tucker, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off post residence in Copperas Cove)

July 2017
7/3: Anthony Lovell, 40, U.S. Army (multiple blunt force injuries, death ruled motorcycle accident by Killeen PD & Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences)
7/11: Justen Ogden, 22, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound, found at on post home, family claims circumstances surrounding death don’t add up, suspicious death)
7/14: James Smith, 24, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post, under investigation)
7/26: Deangelo Mathis, 22, U.S. Army (found unresponsive in Sly County, Georgia)

August 2017
8/2: Zachary Moore, 23, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide in S. Korea, an investigation revealed the Army was not able to get qualified medical help in a timely fashion)

September 2017
9/12: Sean Devoy, 28, U.S. Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training at Fort Hood)

October 2017
10/5: Derrick Walker, 40, U.S. Army (died of a long-term illness)
10/7: Michael Wolfe, 33, U.S. Army (passed away unexpectedly in Arizona)
10/12: Alva Gwinn, 39, U.S. Army (shot self after ‘wellness check’ & high speed pursuit with Killeen PD)
10/12: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, U.S. Army (found unresponsive on post)
10/14: Sameer Chalise, 28, U.S. Army (died due to injuries while swimming with friends)
10/14: John Hatfield, 27, U.S. Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen)
10/18: Luke Toomey, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence in Copperas Cove)

Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017) 

January 2018
1/6: Mark Boner, 43, Indiana Army National Guard (Army: ‘It’s unclear at this time what led to his death’)
1/8: Javion Sullivan, 24, U.S. Army (non-combat related incident, Iraq)
1/18: Tyler Compton, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence in Harker Heights)

February 2018
2/5: Tyler Gabriel, 22, U.S. Army veteran (medical, lost his battle with addiction)
2/6: John Funderburk Jr., 24, U.S. Army (medical, died from a terminal illness in Irving)

March 2018
3/1: Colton Vassar, 29, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
3/3: Devon Wulff, 23, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
3/26: Aigner Certaine, 24, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence, Killeen)
3/30: Cameron Macias, 21, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)

(FORT HOOD STOPPED ISSUING PRESS RELEASES NOTIFYING THE PUBLIC OF THE DEATH OF A SOLDIER)

April 2018
4/6: Samson Johnson, 20, U.S. Army (passed away while stationed at Fort Hood, cod unknown)

May 2018
5/3: Dismas Dillree, 54, U.S. Army (medical, cancer)
5/27: Brian Slawson, 40, U.S. Army (passed away while stationed at Fort Hood, cod unknown)

June 2018
6/29: Kevin M. Brown, 38, U.S. Army (passed away unexpectedly while stationed at Fort Hood, cod unknown)

July 2018
7/30: Timothy Jurgens, 19, U.S. Army (died by suicide according to the family)

August 2018
8/4: Cleveland Lewis, 33, U.S. Army veteran (fatally shot in front of home in Killeen, Texas neighborhood, unsolved homicide)

September 2018
9/2: Lewis Davies, 20, U.S. Army (died in car accident in Georgetown, Pfc. Anthony Brown Jr. charged with intoxication manslaughter, disposition of case is unknown)
9/11: Richard Ramirez, 36, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/15: Jason Decker, 23, U.S. Army (medical, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/17: Jose Lamas, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/17: Michael Vanlandingham, 30, U.S. Army veteran (shot & killed in Copperas Cove, Dana Francis Walcott, Jr & Owen Thomas Free III guilty of capital murder, drug related)
9/20: Albert Christian, 38, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/25: Justin Justice, 36, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)

October 2018
10/13: Abhiraj Singh, 22, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
10/14: Jose Ayabarreno, 43, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away in San Antonio, Texas)

November 2018
11/8: Jacob Casebolt, 21, U.S. Army (died in tactical vehicle rollover accident at Fort Hood)
11/20: Craig Noble, 51, U.S. Navy veteran (civilian found dead in vicinity of BLORA, Fort Hood)

December 2018
12/14: Terrell Coleman, 25, U.S. Army (passed away at medical center in Temple, Texas)
12/26: Kameryn Lopez, 21, U.S. Army (died by suicide according to the family)

January 2019
1/12: Cody Wilshusen, 25, U.S. Army (died in a fatal auto accident in New Mexico)
1/13: Andrew Ortega, 32, U.S. Army (died in training accident at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany)
1/14: Octavious Lakes, Jr, 22, U.S. Army (died in a tactical vehicle accident at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California)
1/22: Kelton Sphaler, 25, U.S. Army (died in an apparent boating accident at BLORA)

February 2019
2/5: Scott Weinhold, 25, U.S. Army veteran (died in an apparent boating accident at BLORA)
2/6: Caden Shunk, 21, U.S. Army (died in motorcycle crash trying to elude Killeen PD)
2/15: Cassandra Perez, 19, U.S. Army (struck & killed while standing outside her stalled vehicle in Edinburg, Texas, alleged drunk driver Edward Magallan officially charged w/ manslaughter)
2/23: James Hawley, U.S. Army (passed away according to Fort Hood Fallen, official date & cause of death unknown)

March 2019
3/12: Max Whitwell, 23, U.S. Army (found unresponsive & pronounced dead at Darnall Army Medical Center)
3/29: Erica Atkinson, 35, U.S. Army (found dead in parking lot on post, official cause of death unknown)
3/31: Nathan Ellard, 20, U.S. Army (both drivers died in a head-on vehicle crash in Hearne, Texas after Ellard crossed the center line)

April 2019
4/24: Tylor Hubert, 24, U.S. Army (died by suicide according to the family)

May 2019
5/1: Benjamin Hunt, 35, US Army (passed away, official location & cause of death unknown)
5/11: Tyler Groves, 21, U.S. Army (died in a single vehicle accident near Nolan Creek in Nolanville)
5/18: Ryan Brandon, 24, U.S. Army (died after motorcycle collided into the rear of a parked pickup truck in Harker Heights)

June 2019
6/25: James Johnston, 24, U.S. Army (died of wounds sustained from small arms fire while engaged in combat operations, Afghanistan)

July 2019
7/6: Edwin Brown Jr., 22, U.S. Army (died in a motorcycle accident, Killeen)
7/21: Virgil Robinson, 26, U.S. Army (drowned after falling from a float at Temple Lake Park on Lake Belton)
7/29: Colton Drye, 22, U.S. Air Force (car crash on highway near Walcott, Iowa)

August 2019
8/13: Corry Willis, 31, U.S. Army Veteran (according to obituary, fought a brave battle against PTSD, Killeen)
8/15: Andrew St. John, 29, Indiana Army National Guard (died in a military training accident at Fort Hood, humvee rollover)
8/19: Gregory Wedel-Morales, 23, U.S. Army (anonymous tip led to the location of a body in a shallow grave in Killeen after CID offered $25,000 reward, unsolved homicide)

September 2019
9/5: Mason Webber, 22, U.S. Army (died of injuries sustained conducting maintenance)
9/19: Jose Antonio Pabon Jr., 37, U.S. Army (passed away, Killeen, cause of death unknown)

October 2019
10/22: Rodney Hagan, 32, U.S. Army (suicide was likely the cause of death)

November 2019
11/4: Anthony Gowler, 31, U.S. Army (official cause of death is unknown)
11/6: Nicholas Panipinto, 20, U.S. Army (died of injuries sustained in roll-over, Korea)
11/20: Logan Castello, 21, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide according to family)
11/20: Kirk Fuchigami Jr., 25, U.S. Army (died in a helicopter crash, Afghanistan)
11/20: David Knadle, 33, U.S. Army (died in a helicopter crash, Afghanistan)

“There have been 23 deaths this year among the post’s 36,500 soldiers, Fort Hood officials told CNN in a statement. According to officials, the deaths include seven off-duty accidents; seven suicides; one combat-related death; four homicides, one of which was on the base; two of natural causes; one that was undetermined pending an autopsy; and one drowning.” Here’s what we know about eight of the soldiers who have died this year at Fort Hood (CNN, July 25, 2020)

February 2020
2/1: Eric Hogan, 19, U.S. Army (died after car accident, Highway 195 in Williamson County)
2/1: Anthony Peak Jr., 21, U.S. Army (died after car accident, Highway 195 in Williamson County)

March 2020
3/1: Shelby Tyler Jones, 20, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, Killeen, unsolved homicide)
3/5: Christopher Sawyer, 29, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
3/5: Raul Torrez, 24, U.S. Army (passed away while stationed at Fort Hood, Texas)
3/11: Juan Covarrubias, 27, U.S. Army (died when engaged by enemy indirect fire, Iraq)
3/14: Shaquan Allred, 23, U.S. Army veteran (gunshot wounds, Killeen, Barnard Morrow arrested August 28 in Newton, Mississippi; Fort Hood soldier sold handgun to suspect)
3/14: Freddy Delacruz Jr., 23, U.S. Army (gunshot wounds, Killeen, Barnard Morrow arrested August 28 in Newton, Mississippi; Fort Hood soldier sold handgun to suspect)
3/20: Brandon Brown, 34, U.S. Army Veteran (Harker Heights PD ruled death as suicide by self inflicted gunshot wound, family seeks answers regarding death investigation)
3/23: Michael Wardrobe, 22, U.S. Army veteran (homicide, Spc. Jovino Roy charged)
3/25: Victor D’Onofrio, 22, U.S. Army (died at Fort Hood, cause of death unknown)
3/30: John David Randolph Hilty, 44, U.S. Army (died of a non-combat related incident, Iraq)

April 2020
4/22: Vanessa Guillen, 20, U.S. Army (missing persons case; remains found on June 30th; according to accomplice Cecily Aguilar, Vanessa was murdered at work on post by co-worker Aaron Robinson; allegedly Vanessa had knowledge that now deceased Robinson was having an affair with Aguilar who was married; he allegedly killed her to silence her and protect his career)
4/29: Joshua Barnwell, 19, U.S. Army (accidentally shot in the head according to Open Arms Mission on Facebook, later died at the hospital while in ICU)

May 2020
5/18: Brandon Rosecrans, 27, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, Harker Heights, Brandon Olivares was charged with murder, Estrellita “Star” Falcon charged with using Rosecrans’s Jeep and hindering prosecution)
5/26: Richard Harrington, Jr., 45, U.S. Army (passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)

July 2020
7/1: Aaron Robinson, U.S. Army (allegedly died by suicide once he discovered he was a suspect in the murder of Vanessa Guillen, affidavit)
7/2:  Miguel Yazzie, 33, U.S. Army (according to media, death is reportedly under investigation)
7/17: Mejhor Morta, 26, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at the base of Stillhouse Hollow Lake Dam in Belton, media reports indicate tentative cause of death is drowning, family believes foul play is suspected)

August 2020
8/2: Francisco Hernandezvargas, 24, U.S. Army (allegedly died in a boating incident on Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Belton, a Fort Hood press release said his body has been recovered, under investigation by local authorities)
8/12: Cole Jakob Aton, 22, U.S. Army (struck by a vehicle during an accident on Interstate Highway 14 near the Willow Springs Road overpass, Killeen)
8/13: Bradley Moore, 36, Texas Army National Guard (died during land navigation training at Fort Hood, cause of death unknown, under investigation)
8/25: Elder Fernandes, 23, U.S. Army (found hanging from tree in Temple after reporting sexual assault, reported being hazed and bullied, mental health issues, death ruled suicide)

Stars and Stripes: Why Is Fort Hood the Army’s Most Crime-Ridden Post? (August 21, 2020)

“In the last five years, 165 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood have died, according to the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, which regularly released information on soldiers’ death until a 2018 decision to stop the practice. The post was an outlier in this level of transparency.

In those years, seven soldiers died by homicide, while six died in a combat zone. The deaths of 70 soldiers were ruled suicides, and on- and off-base accidents resulted in the deaths of 60 soldiers.”

September 2020
9/2: Pvt. Corlton Chee, U.S. Army (according to Fort Hood, he passed away after collapsing following physical training on Aug. 28; family believes murder & wants investigation)

Learn more:
The Truth Behind Fort Hood’s History Of Violent Crime
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
Gangs in the Military: Armed and Dangerous Forces (December 23, 2010)
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts (2015)
Honoring the U.S. Service Members Who Died in November 2016
On This Day, Eight Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
US Army Soldier Based at Fort Hood is Found Dead – Making Him the TWELFTH GI From the Texas Base to Die in the Last Two Months as Investigators Probe Bizarre Cluster of Suicides, Accidents and Fatal Fights at the Base (January 14, 2017)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Gangs in the Military by Carter F. Smith Released (September 15, 2017)
Timeline: Army Sgt. Kelton Sphaler & Army Vet Scott Weinhold Reported Missing at Belton Lake; After Search Launched, Both Recovered in Water (January 21, 2019)
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)
Congressman Seth Moulton Introduces The Brandon Act to Change DoD Mental Health Policy, Pay Tribute to Fallen Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta (June 25, 2020)
House Armed Services Committee Congressional Investigation of Fort Hood: Research Reveals Pattern of Suspicious Deaths and Cover-up (September 11, 2020)
10 minutes of gunfire 10 years ago left 13 dead, more than 30 injured
Soldier deaths in South Korea put spotlight on US military suicide crisis
Fort Hood reports the most sexual assaults of any Army post
Family not happy with silence over Fort Hood soldier who was shot
Fort Hood soldier sentenced to 35 years for rape
Fort Hood training accidents will be part of GAO investigation
6 Fort Hood soldiers, 14 total, arrested in prostitution sting 
What is Happening at Fort Hood | Missing People in America
Here is How a Soldier Becomes Listed as ‘Deserter’
Fort Hood soldier charged with sexual assault

MJFA on Social:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/militaryjusticeforall
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/military_crime
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@military_crime
Email: militaryjusticeforall@gmail.com

Fort Hood Army CID Special Agent Steven Hines Found Dead Behind Office Building of Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Death Ruled Suicide (2017)

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Staff Sgt. Steven Hines, US Army

Staff Sgt. Steven Hines, 29, was found dead behind a building on Fort Hood in Texas on February 5th 2017. Staff Sgt. Hines joined the Army in July 2007 and was a Criminal Investigation Division (CID) special agent assigned to the 11th Military Police Battalion. CID agents report foul play is not suspected but has not been ruled out as they continue to conduct a death investigation. According to reports, special agents from outside of Fort Hood have been brought in to head up the investigation. An Army report released in December 2017 indicated that Staff Sgt. Hines was found “50 yards behind his office building, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, with his issued M11 at his side.” Authorities indicated that Staff Sgt. Hines left behind messages for others on Post-It notes including his fellow CID Agents. His message to them was:

The wellness of our agents and helping to create a support system and culture for positive mental health for our special agents is of the utmost importance to this command’s senior leadership. -Staff Sgt. Steven Hines

Related Links:
Obituary: Steven Kendall Hines
Army investigator found dead on post
Army CID agent found dead on Fort Hood
Army CID Agent Found Dead on Fort Hood
CID special agent found dead behind building at Fort Hood
Army CID special agent found dead behind Fort Hood building
Fort Hood special agent’s body found behind building on base
Army CID Investigating Soldier’s Death at Fort Hood
Army CID investigating soldier’s death on Fort Hood
Army probing death of investigator at Fort Hood, 1 of 6 deaths at the base this year
Report: CID agent who died by suicide resisted seeking help
Why Have So Many Fort Hood Army Soldiers Died Stateside in the Last Year?
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Army Spc. Zackary Partin Found Dead in Barracks at Fort Hood in Texas; Had Plans to Discharge in a Few Months & Become Full-Time Firefighter (2017)

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Spc. Zackary Partin, US Army

Army Spc. Zackary Partin, 24, was found dead in his Fort Hood, Texas barracks room on January 12, 2017. Spc. Partin’s home of record was listed as Oakwood, Illinois and he joined the Army in November 2012. Spc. Partin was a radio operator assigned to the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. Zackary’s death is under investigation by the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Per the Fort Hood Press Center, the point of contact for the investigation is Chris Grey, Chief of Public Affairs, USA Criminal Investigation Command (CID), Quantico, VA. Grey’s email is christopher.p.grey.civ@mail.mil. The circumstances surrounding Zackary’s death and official cause of death are unknown.

Vicki Partin said the last time she saw her son was when he came home for a couple weeks over the Christmas holiday. She was shocked when two Army officers showed up at her door at 10 p.m. Jan. 12 to tell her he had died. “Everybody is heartbroken…He was so looking forward to getting out in May. He wanted to join the Naval Reserves, and he wanted to become a full-time firefighter.” –The News-Gazette

Related Links:
Obituary: Zackary Partin
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Spc. Zackary Phillip Partin
Fort Hood soldier found unresponsive
Fort Hood soldier found dead in barracks
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in barracks room identified
Fort Hood identifies soldier found dead in barracks
24-Year-Old Oakwood Soldier Dies During Active Duty In Texas
24-Year-Old Oakwood Soldier Dies During Active Duty In Texas
Death of Fort Hood soldier from Illinois under investigation
Oakwood to honor soldier gone too soon
Fallen hero returning home
Soldier found in barracks is 11th death at Fort Hood since November
Soldier Found in Barracks Is 11th Death at Fort Hood Since November
Soldier’s Death Last Week is 11th at Fort Hood Since November
Another Soldier Found Dead At Fort Hood – 11th Death Since November
Soldier’s death last week is 11th at Fort Hood since Nov.
Soldier Found Dead At Fort Hood, 13th Body Found Since September
What’s going on at Fort Hood, Texas, where 11 soldiers have died in three months
Fort Hood has had 5 noncombat deaths so far in January, bringing 3-month total to 11
Army probing death of investigator at Fort Hood, 1 of 6 deaths at the base this year
Volunteers place wreaths on service members’ graves
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Army Sgt. Alex Taylor Found Unresponsive in Place of Duty at Fort Hood; No Updates on Outcome of Investigation & Cause of Death Ruling (2017)

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Sgt. Alex Taylor, US Army

Army Sgt. Alex Taylor, 23, was found dead at his place of duty at Fort Hood in Texas on January 11, 2017. Sgt. Taylor’s home of record is listed as Texas City, Texas; he joined the Army in March 2012 as an aviation operations specialist. Sgt. Taylor was assigned to the 15th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Hood since July 2016. Per the Fort Hood Press Center, the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation by U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. The point of contact for the investigation is Chris Grey, Chief of Public Affairs, USA Criminal Investigation Command (CID) Quantico, Virginia. Grey’s e-mail is christopher.p.grey.civ@mail.mil. The CID spokesman reported no foul play suspected initially but it was not completely ruled out because the cause of death is still under investigation. The circumstances surrounding Alex Taylor’s death and official cause of death are unknown to the public at this time. Alex’s family makes the following request:

I am Alex father. Thank you for putting this information up. I am one of many that is having to fight with the military to get justice for my fallen soldier. They are giving me very little information and what they are giving me is false. The army is telling me there was no foul play but I know that is not true. If anyone has any information about it please feel free to contact this website. They are compiling information about the many deaths at Fort Hood. I am in contact with them and they will relay any information to me. Please help me get justice for my son. -Jeff Taylor

Related Links:
Obituary: Alex Taylor
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – SGT Alex Taylor
Soldier remembered for putting others first
Fort Hood releases name of soldier found dead
Fort Hood Officials ID Soldier Found Dead At His Place Of Duty
Texas City Soldier Found Dead at Fort Hood
Army investigates death of sergeant assigned to Fort Hood
Army investigates death of soldier from Houston area
Fort Hood soldier’s death focus of criminal investigators
Army investigates suspicious death of military intelligence soldier
Army Criminal Investigation Command investigates Fort Hood Soldier’s death
Army Criminal Investigation Command investigates Fort Hood Soldier’s death
Soldier Found in Barracks Is 11th Death at Fort Hood Since November
Army, local police probe recent mystery deaths of 11 Fort Hood soldiers
Probe launched into death of Fort Hood soldier, one of nearly a dozen stateside since November
US Army soldier based at Fort Hood is found dead – making him the TWELFTH GI from the Texas base to die in the last two months as investigators probe bizarre cluster of suicides, accidents and fatal fights at the base
What’s going on at Fort Hood, Texas, where 11 soldiers have died in three months
Alex Mathew Dean Taylor, Soldier Found Dead at Fort Hood is, at least, 11th Soldier to Die There in 2 MONTHS!
Fort Hood Mystery: Probe Into Deaths of 11 Soldiers in Past Three Months
Police And Army Investigating Deaths Of 11 Fort Hood Soldiers
52 Deaths at Fort Hood Since January 2016 ~ 14 Since January 2017…Normal Or Highly Suspicious?
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Despite Suicide Ruling, Family Requests Homicide Investigation (December 24, 2016)

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Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, US Army

Army Private Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, was found unresponsive in her vehicle at Fort Hood housing in Texas on Christmas eve, December 24, 2016. Private Fontenot Briles is from Kaplin, Louisiana and joined the Army in February 2015. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She deployed to Kuwait shortly after completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT). She returned stateside early in December 2015 after she was injured in the line of duty. In November 2016, she was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was going to be discharged from the Army in February 2017 and had plans to attend dental hygienist school. Family report that Pvt. Fontenot Briles cause of death was determined a homicide by the Army but the Bell County coroner’s office made a suicide determination. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the cause of death as suicide.

*************************************************

Background:

Paige joined the U.S. Army in February 2015 & was permanently assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic after Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Paige shared with her family that she was raped by her recruiter before she went to Fort Jackson for basic training but she did not report the incident. Shortly after arriving to Fort Hood, Paige was deployed to Kuwait in October 2015. Although she returned home early in December 2015 after being found unresponsive under a vehicle. She was injured in the line of duty and the only thing she shared with her family was that she “saw things no one should ever have to see.”

Paige met and married another soldier she hadn’t known that long in January 2016 upon her return home from Kuwait. According to Army CID, they learned that the marriage was contractual and the two did in fact share a home up until recently. When Paige met her husband, she had already experienced multiple traumas from the rape and her experience in Kuwait; she was vulnerable. After a few months of marriage, Paige got pregnant but her “husband” did not want a child and convinced her to get an abortion in August 2016. It was at this point, Paige had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalized for 28 days. She was eventually transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in November 2016.

image1The WTU allowed Paige to escape the unhealthy arrangement she was trapped in with her contractual husband and she was starting to feel better after being free of him for a couple months. Family reports that Paige decided to get out of the military, move back in with her sister and parents, and pursue an education as a dental hygienist. Paige was expected to discharge in February 2017. Paige put in leave to go home for Christmas in December 2016 but it was denied. Paige took a picture of herself on SnapChat and sent it to her contacts on Christmas Eve. She wrote “here’s to another Christmas alone.” And the Army wants us to believe that 30 minutes later, Paige would be dead by her own hand.

On the night in question, Paige drove to a friend’s house on post. She was house sitting for them while they were out of town. About an hour later, Paige was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat in her vehicle in the parking lot outside her friend’s home. She had been stabbed. Initially the Army investigated the death as a homicide but in December 2017, the family was informed that the cause of death was ruled a suicide. Less than two years in the Army and Paige was gone. She told her parents she was raped, she saw things in Kuwait no one should ever see, and that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man she was trying to escape. Paige had been through hell in her short time in the Army but she had hope. She knew she was returning to Louisiana to a loving family and a sister who was her best friend. She didn’t feel so trapped that suicide was the only way out.

Paige had a second chance at life in just a couple months when she was going to be discharged. Paige’s parents want their daughter’s case investigated as a homicide. They provided the Army CID with a person of interest. They had interaction and negative experiences with the person of interest. They shared their first hand interactions (witness testimony) and their concerns with CID but felt their experiences and observations were dismissed. They know their daughter was not suicidal because she was due to get out of the Army in February 2017 and she had plans. When questioned if the Army CID ever investigated the person of interest, Paige’s family responded with “the Army CID never investigated any persons of interest.” As a matter of fact, the Army discharged the soldier these parents suspected was the person of interest.

What happens when the Army discharges a soldier who may be a person of interest? They in effect give up jurisdiction of the soldier once they become a civilian unless they are retired. The soldier who was considered a ‘person of interest’ by the family was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Enter across state line jurisdictional issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears to want to steer clear of cases on military bases. The parents report that initially Paige’s stabbing death was investigated as a homicide yet in the end, despite the autopsy, forensics, suspicious circumstances in her life, and the parents testimony, Paige’s death was ruled a suicide by the Army CID. Once a death is ruled a suicide, the investigation is over and the US Army never has to investigate again.

How does the family get justice for Paige?

Source: Teri Fontenot (Paige Briles’ mom)

Related Links:
Fort Hood soldier found dead on post on Christmas Eve
Fort Hood soldier found dead identified as Kaplan woman
Fort Hood officials announce death of a soldier
Death of 21-year-old Fort Hood soldier under investigation
Fort Hood: Death of soldier on Christmas Eve under investigation
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)

Top Ten Problems with the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) Investigations

the-constitution-was-written-very-precisely-to-restrain-the-power-and-force-of-government-and-to-protect-the-liberties-of-each-and-every-one-of-us-ron-paul-2

Guest post submitted by:

Doug O’Connell
O’Connell & Associates, PLLC Doug@DougOConnell.com

Attorney Doug O’Connell has represented former Recruiting Assistants for the past two years in both criminal and civil matters. A former state and federal prosecutor, Doug is also a Special Forces Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard. In addition to his own practice, Doug is Of Counsel to Fluet, Huber + Hoang law firm.

The G-RAP accusations and investigations have now lingered for over five years. At least 90,430 (1) National Guard Soldiers (88% of all G-RAP participants) have been subjected to investigations as part of a massive dragnet to recover bonuses (2). 125 Soldiers have been prosecuted in Federal or State Courts; at least 2633 Soldiers remain under investigation (3). While a handful of unscrupulous participants took advantage of the ever-changing rules of this contractor-run program, those cases were adjudicated years ago. What the Army CID is now doing is nothing more than pursuing anyone whose G-RAP tenure spanned the years with the most rules’ changes in an effort to prove up the Army’s exaggerated fraud estimate.

It’s hard to pick the Top 10 issues with G-RAP. The items below represent issues apparent in almost every case. This list omits, but hardly overlooks, such things as inappropriate command pressure to participate in G-RAP, forcing accused Soldiers to undergo DNA collection (4), active surveillance of National Guard Soldiers by Army CID (5), coercion to make reimbursements to the Army (6) in lieu of punishment and other notable violations of Soldier’s rights.

1 Letter to Representative Mike Coffman from Daniel M. Quinn, Chief of Staff, USACIC.
2 The U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Justice consistently refers to G-RAP payments as bonuses in sworn testimony, official documents and court filings. The payments were paid by a contractor directly to the Soldier and IRS form 1099 was issued to every participant. Payments were not processed by DFAS and did not appear on a LES. Finally, Congress did not authorize a bonus related to this program. Nevertheless, Government officials consistently refer to G-RAP payments as bonuses, perhaps wishing it were true so that legal recoupment would be possible.
3 Per letter to Rep Coffman.
4 Collected by a cheek swab without a warrant in violation of the 4th Amendment.
5 Related to an allegation of fraud which if true occurred years prior.
6 Possibly an illegal augmentation of appropriations in violation of the Miscellaneous Receipts statute, 31 USC §3302.

1. GUILT BY ALGORITHM.

Auditors, instead of seasoned law enforcement professionals, launched the G-RAP investigations. Rather than using any type of proper legal standard like probable cause, the Army Audit Agency assembled lists of Soldiers branded “high risk” by the auditors. The definition for “High Risk” was listed as “an inability to follow the rules.” Because the rules changed 60 times in seven years, almost everyone who successfully participated in G-RAP became a target. Soldiers connected to the “high risk” Soldiers were in turn investigated. This self-perpetuating, system of guilt by association crushes any notion of justice and the rule of law. Years later, many of these Soldiers still are under the cloud of a CID investigation and are being forced to defend (at great financial and emotional cost) their names and careers.

2. COMPULSORY INTERROGATIONS.

Federal CID agents lack any authority to compel National Guard Soldiers (or veterans) to submit to interrogations. Unfortunately, neither CID nor most Guard Soldiers and veterans understand that they cannot be forced to appear or answer questions from Army-dispatched agents. CID agents repeatedly violate this bright line legal standard. Worse yet, some Guard Commanders aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable about the law to protect their Soldiers. Once confronted with apparent military authority, many individuals, honestly believing they did nothing wrong, provide answers, later cherry picked and twisted to supposedly show guilt. The unfortunate individual is left having to prove he or she didn’t say something or that the statement was taken out of context.

3. INVESTIGATORS WITH A PERSONAL FINANCIAL INCENTIVE.

The CID Investigators pursuing G-RAP allegations include Army Reserve CID Agents voluntarily on active duty orders. At a minimum, the perception exists that the Reserve Agents have a financial incentive to perpetuate the investigations. The longer the investigations continue, the longer these agents remain employed. Further compounding this problem is the very logical assumption that few agents would volunteer for active duty if it meant a pay cut from their civilian employment.

4. VIOLATIONS OF THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT.

National Guard Soldiers not mobilized into federal service, are like any other civilian citizen under the law. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits federal military personnel from investigating and enforcing the law. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. The PCA is a federal criminal offense punishable by a term in prison. In the G-RAP investigations, federal military agents are investigating allegations of criminal violations by Guard Soldiers, who are the same as civilians under the law (7). This is a clear violation of the PCA. Unfortunately, this flawed law requires the same prosecutors who are prosecuting Soldiers to levy charges against the same agents investigating the cases they prosecute.

7 See Perprich vs. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990).

5. TRAMPLING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

In our system of justice, a statue of limitations exists to limit the Government’s ability to bring charges so remote that the defendant can’t reasonably mount an effective defense. In G-RAP cases, the Government is circumventing the statue of limitations with a World War II era tolling statute. Most applicable criminal offenses have a 5 year statute of limitations. Since G-RAP ended in 2012 the statute of limitations has long expired in most cases. However, in G-RAP investigations and prosecutions the Government is relying on the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (8) to continue to bring criminal cases. First enacted in 1948, the WSLA is designed to protect the Country from fraud during times of war. This law likely made sense during World War II, the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. However, the nature of warfare has changed. The current war against terrorism and global extremist groups will continue indefinitely. Relying on the outdated WSLA during today’s conflicts effectively terminates the deeply rooted equitable concept of a statue of limitations.

8 18 USC §3287

6. SPENDING $40 MILLION -TO COLLECT $3 MILLION.

Our Government has spent at least an estimated $40 million dollars (9) to investigate Soldiers. The ensuing recoupment actions and prosecutions have recovered, at most $3 million dollars (10). Army CID agents have repeatedly conducted full field investigations to determine if a Soldier’s single $2,000.00 bonus was righteous (11). In an era of constrained defense spending with persistent and emerging global terrorist threats, this massive boondoggle sets a new record for fraud, waste and abuse. The CID agents’ limited time and resources would be much better spent working to prevent the next Fort Hood terrorist attack.

9 This is a conservative estimate which includes the personnel cost associated with bringing the USAR agents onto duty status.
10 This figure is also an estimate based on all federal cases reported in the Pacer.gov system and media reports from around the country.
11 At least one National Guard officer is currently under indictment for a single G-RAP recruitment.

7. INACCURATE TESTIMONY TO CONGRESS & POLITICAL PRESSURE

The entire G-RAP controversy is based on inaccurate and irresponsible testimony to Congress. During Senate hearings chaired by Senator Claire McCaskill (12), Army General Officers testified that the total G-RAP fraud could be as high as $99 million (13). This estimate was wildly inaccurate (14). To date, the Government has only collected $3 million in fraudulent payments. Senator McCaskill immediately branded these Soldiers as criminals despite their Constitutional right to be presumed innocent (15). Many have speculated that the hearings and estimates of widespread fraud were designed to embarrass the National Guard during budget battles. Others suggest that it was an attempt to appease this powerful member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and self styled “accountability advocate.” Still others contend that the hearings were an attempt to shift focus from sexual assaults in the military. Whatever the reason, the McCaskill hearing set off a chain of events abrogating the presumption of innocence justice toward service members and veterans.

12 United States Senate Hearing: Fraud and Abuse in Army Recruiting Contracts, February 4, 2014.
13 Id.
14 It appears that this testimony has never been revised, amended or updated to correct the record.
15 Id.

8. AT LEAST 60 CHANGES TO THE “RULES.”

In the eyes of CID, violations of the program “rules,” indicates intentional fraud worthy of criminal investigation. However, the G-RAP “rules” changed at least 60 times during the life of the program (16). Understanding the “rules” of G-RAP at any given point in time requires a detailed analysis based on a significant review of multiple documents (17). In the vast majority of cases, if the Soldier violated the “rules,” it is more likely due to confusion rather than a deliberate desire to cheat the system. With unrelenting intensity, CID doesn’t investigate an alleged crime; they gather slanted “evidence” to prove that a crime was committed. CID, in fact, has been responsible for elevating an inability to follow the rules of a program run by a private contractor to the level of a crime. One example: at various times full time members of the National Guard were authorized to participate in G-RAP, at other times they were ineligible. If a Soldier entered G-RAP when full time members were allowed, but submitted data for payment months later when full time members were not allowed, that Soldier is investigated for fraud.

16 See Agent’s Investigation Report, CID Special Agent Julie Thurlow, November 22, 2013.
17 National Guard Bureau changed the rules via a contract change order sent to Docupak.

9. “SPHERE OF INFLUENCE” AND OTHER VAGUE GUIDANCE.

Soldiers participating in G-RAP received instruction to recruit from their “sphere of influence.” This term was never defined. It’s unclear if the intent of this language was to limit recruitment to pre-existing relationships. Regardless of NGB’s intent, the Soldiers received a very different message. For example, once hired by Docupak, Soldiers were provided marketing items such as t-shirts with the message “ask me about the National Guard.” None of the marketing items provided would have been necessary to recruit people already known to the Soldier. Now, these same Soldiers are investigated and some prosecuted for recruiting outside their sphere of influence. Likewise, Soldiers were told that they “shouldn’t” wear their uniform when conducting recruiting activities. If this were truly a prohibited action worthy of investigation, the “rule” would have been written as “you are prohibited from wearing your uniform.”

10. “I DON’T REMEMBER = GUILTY.”

When CID agents track down and contact recruits many years after their enlistment into the National Guard, most don’t remember the details of their interaction with the recruiting assistant. To the CID agents, this means the RA committed misconduct. The alternative explanation is unfathomable to the agents: the recruit, 7 years later, just doesn’t remember. This is especially problematic since Government prosecutors use this lack of memory to charge the Soldier with Aggravated Identity Theft (18), a charge that carries a mandatory minimum term of prison sentence of two years.

18 18 USC § 1028A.

“EXTRA CREDIT:” CID KNEW ABOUT ALLEGED FRAUD FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE TAKING ACTION.

On May 22, 2007, five years before G-RAP was shut down, Agents from Army CID, Air Force OSI, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) met with Docupak to discuss potential fraud in the program (19). A representative of the United States Department of Justice (20) was also in attendance. The agents specifically instructed Docupak not to notify the State Adjutant Generals, National Guard Bureau, or the contracting officer regarding alleged fraud. This effectively cut off any ability to clarify confusing rules and or enhance fraud prevention measures. Importantly, it also prevented Governors and Adjutants General to execute their Constitutional duty of regulating their National Guard force and apply appropriate discipline (21). Likewise, notification the responsible contracting officer at NGB would have triggered remedial action. Instead, the CID sat on this information for five years, causing a relatively minor amount of confusion to escalate into what we have now – another major bonus scandal ensnaring thousands of junior Soldiers facing accusations.

19 2014 Inspector General Report, page 40, paragraph g, and footnote 142.
20 Presumably a licensed attorney.
21 The Governor’s and TAG’s Constitutional authority to regulate and discipline Guard members included the full time recruiting force in each state, some of whom were suspected of misconduct. These Soldiers operate under the exclusive military jurisdiction of the relevant State Military Code of Justice.

CONCLUSION

Few Soldiers have the financial resources to mount a proper defense to federal criminal charges. Faced with the possibility of prison time, many take a plea bargain to avoid the risk of prison, financial ruin or deepening emotional trauma to themselves and their families. Even if the accused Soldiers are not prosecuted, the collateral consequences seem never ending. The investigation will continue to haunt them for years to come. Security clearances will be revoked or suspended, and the Government will initiate proceedings to “debar” the Soldier from future employment as a government contractor. Eventually, the case file will be forwarded to the State National Guard headquarters for military justice or administrative action. The range of administrative sanctions includes separation boards, official reprimands and being required to rebut CID’s flawed conclusions to a promotion review board. The administrative flag on their personnel file will continue until all military administrative actions are complete (22). Finally, many of these same Soldiers, never prosecuted in a court of law will have a federal criminal history created as a result of being investigated, “titled” and “founded” by CID.

22 A “flag” prevents any favorable action including re-enlisting, awards, and promotions. The flag does not prevent orders to deploy overseas (again). Flags as a result of G-RAP investigations have been in place for four or more years at this point.