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

A1C Rhianda Dillard, US Air Force, Found Dead in Offutt AFB Dorm Room; Airman Timothy Wilsey Charged with Desertion and Pre-Meditated Murder (2016)

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Rhianda Dillard, US Air Force

A1C Rhianda Dillard, 20, US Air Force, was found dead in her dorm room at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska on August 1, 2016. A1C Timothy Wilsey disappeared after the murder and was arrested eleven days later in Emporia, Virginia on desertion and murder charges. Timothy Wilsey was charged with pre-meditated murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). A1C Dillard was from Biloxi, Mississippi and had only been in the Air Force for five months before she was murdered. She was a cyber systems operation specialist assigned to the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron.

Related Links:
Offutt airman charged with murder in connection with fellow airman’s death
Offutt airman charged in murder case
Air Force airman charged in death of fellow airman
Air Force airman charged in August death of fellow airman
She died, he disappeared. Now he’s charged with murder.
Airman faces premeditated murder, desertion charges in death at Offutt Air Force Base
Offutt airman charged with murder, desertion in death of fellow airman
Airman accused of murdering fellow airman at Offutt AFB officially charged
Airman from Valdosta charged with murder
‘He’s not talking’: Offutt airman charged with murder in connection with fellow airman’s death
Airman at Offutt Charged With Murder Appears in Court
Journal details Offutt airman’s slaying
Prosecutors: Journal details Offutt airman’s slaying
Airman at Offutt detailed killing of fellow service member in journal, agent testifies at hearing
‘My bad’: Chilling diary entries and texts of ‘murder-obsessed’ soldier ‘who strangled female classmate for fun and to steal a pack of Oreos’


Airman 1st Class Timothy M. Wilsey of the 55th Intelligence Support Squadron has been charged with premeditated murder and desertion in connection with the death of Airman 1st Class Rhianda N. Dillard at Offutt Air Force Base, a news release from the 55th Wing said. -KETV

Army Pfc Karlyn Ramirez Found Shot to Death in Home, Army Veteran Dolores Delgado Plead Guilty & Army Sgt Maliek Kearney Awaiting Trial (2015)

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Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez, US Army

Army soldier Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez, 24, of Fort Meade, Maryland was found shot to death in her home on August 25, 2015 while she lay next to her newborn baby. Karlyn worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) and had a top secret security clearance. Investigators looked to her roommate and her husband as persons of interests. The media speculated that maybe this crime had something to do with her job. The Anne Arundel Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked jointly to solve Karlyn’s homicide. A $20,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. More then a year later on October 6, 2016 Karlyn’s husband Army Sgt. Maliek Kearney and his new girlfriend Army veteran Dolores Delgado were arrested for the murder. In testimony, Sgt. Kearney admitted to shooting Karlyn four times, placing their baby in her dead mother’s arms, and then fleeing the scene leaving a sliding glass door open. Investigators report that the crime was a well thought out and executed plan implemented in an effort to throw homicide detectives off.

Dolores Delgado gave Sgt. Kearney the car, the gun, and gas cans to refuel with so he wouldn’t be caught on any security cameras as he drove from South Carolina to Maryland on August 24th to carry out the murder. Sgt. Kearney returned back to work the next morning at Fort Jackson in South Carolina to establish an alibi. Additional testimony revealed that Karlyn and Sgt. Kearney separated only two weeks after they had been married. They had been married for roughly five weeks when Karlyn was murdered. Karlyn attempted to get a restraining order on Sgt. Kearney just days before the murder after he showed up to her home unannounced in an effort to reconcile with her. After the failed attempt at reconciliation, Sgt. Kearney was hospitalized because he tried to end his life with sleeping pills. Sgt. Kearney was a decorated Army veteran of 15 years who had served tours in Iraq, Pakistan and South Korea. One of Sgt. Kearney’s superiors at Fort Sam Houston testified that he has been “nothing but an exemplary soldier.” A friend reported that he had no idea that Sgt. Kearney and Dolores Delgado were even dating. Sgt. Kearney  and Dolores Delgado are being prosecuted by the federal courts because they crossed state lines to execute a murder in another state. The U.S. Magistrate denied bail for Sgt. Kearney and Dolores Delgado and ordered they be transferred to Maryland to await trial. In August 2017, Dolores Delgado plead guilty to helping Sgt. Kearney with the murder of Karlyn Ramirez.

“He is sick and depraved. Slightly laughable was his compassionate transfer to San Antonio to be close to the child he put in her dead mother’s arms.” -Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wannarka

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Maliek Kearney and Karlyn Ramirez

Related Links:
Woman Found Slain In Severn Home Was Ft. Meade Soldier
Murdered Severn woman was soldier working at Fort Meade
Woman, 24, found murdered in Maryland home next to unharmed baby, 5 months
Soldier found dead from multiple gun shot wounds next to her five-month-old daughter
Family seeks answers, community reacts as investigation continues into slaying of Ft. Meade soldier
Maryland woman found dead next to baby; no arrests
Police need help to solve murder of Army Spc. Karlyn Ramirez, Fort Meade
Investigation continues into shooting death of pfc.
Family hopes to have Severn homicide victim returned to Texas
No arrest in the murder of Army Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez, public’s help still needed
Reward offered for information in soldier’s murder
‘Nothing she could have done to deserve this’
Police Search For Clues In Killing Of Ft. Meade Soldier; $20K Reward Offered
Murdered Mom ‘Had Her Life Stolen from Her’: Police Chief
Female Soldier Found Shot Dead Next to Baby After Making Panicked Calls
‘I Don’t Feel Safe’: Murdered Mom Told Family
Six Months Later, Still No Suspects in Fort Meade Soldier’s Death
$20,000 reward for details in Meade soldier’s killing
Police, Army offer $20K reward in death of soldier in Severn
Anne Arundel County Police Press Release for February 25, 2016
Army CID, Information Wanted, Homicide Investigation, Karlyn Ramirez
Female Soldier Found Shot Dead Next to Baby After Making Panicked Calls
Female Soldier Found Shot Dead Next to Baby After Panicked Calls – Pt. 1 (YouTube)
Female Soldier Found Shot Dead Next to Baby After Panicked Calls – Pt. 2 (YouTube)
Soldier arrested in San Antonio, charged in killing of wife
US Army Sergeant and his girlfriend are arrested over killing of his soldier wife who was found shot dead next to their unharmed baby daughter at home
Soldier and Girlfriend Arrested in His Wife’s Death — More Than a Year After Her Slaying
Army sergeant, girlfriend charged in the killing of his wife
Army sergeant, girlfriend charged in death of wife, also a soldier
2 arrested in 2015 slaying of soldier assigned to Fort Meade
NCO arrested, charged with murdering his soldier wife
Husband Killed Wife, Placed Baby in Her Arms, Fled Maryland: FBI
Husband, His Girlfriend Charged In Fort Meade Mom’s Murder (Update)
Testimony: San Antonio soldier placed baby in his dead wife’s arms
South Carolina soldier accused of killing wife appears in San Antonio court
Duo to return to Maryland to face trial in soldier’s death
This Army Soldier And Loving Mother Tragically Murdered, Please Pray For Her 5-Month-Old Baby
Woman pleads guilty to helping her Army boyfriend kill wife
Woman pleads guilty to helping her soldier boyfriend kill his wife


Karlyn Ramirez, 24, was killed in her Maryland home. When police found her, she wasn’t alone. But the only living witness can’t say who killed her. -Crime Watch Daily

Navy PO 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov Found Strangled to Death in Germany; Air Force SSgt Sean Oliver Found Guilty, Sentenced to Life (2013)

SSgt Sean Oliver, US Air Force, was found guilty of strangling Navy Petty Officer Dmitry Chepusov after a night of drinking on December 14th , 2013 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The two were colleagues at the American Forces Network (AFN) at Ramstein Air Force Base. SSgt Oliver was charged with pre-meditated murder. The military prosecutors were considering the death penalty but the German authorities withheld evidence in an effort to get the death penalty off the table in this case. SSgt Oliver was found guilty of the murder of Dmitry Chepusov by the military courts and sentenced to life with parole. Military prosecutors believed the motive for the murder was to silence Dmitry Chepusov who found out about an affair that SSgt Oliver was having with his wife.

Related Links:
Air Force staff sgt. stands trial Monday on murder charge
More charges in sailor’s death in Germany
Germans withholding evidence in AFN murder case pending death penalty decision
For Germans, death penalty is concern in U.S. airman’s murder trial
Article 32 begins Friday for airman charged in strangling death of sailor
Airman pleads not guilty to premeditated murder in Chepusov’s death
Chilling New Details Emerge In Killing Of Navy Broadcaster
Soldier Gets 6 Months for False Testimony in AFN Murder
Air Force Staff Sergeant Found Guilty in AFN Murder
Air Force Staff Sgt. found guilty of murder
Oliver sentenced to life with parole for killing of AFN broadcaster
Air Force Staff Sergeant Sentenced to Life With Parole in AFN Murder
Life with possibility of parole in AFN Europe murder
Love Triangle Results in Murder on Air Base
US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, SSgt Sean Oliver (2014)

US Army Soldier Kimberly Walker Murdered in Colorado Hotel Room by her Boyfriend Army Soldier Montrell Mayo After Valentine’s Day Quarrel (2013)

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Kimberly Walker, US Army

Honoring US Army soldier Kimberly Walker who was murdered in a Colorado Springs hotel room on February 14, 2013 by her boyfriend Army soldier Montrell Mayo. Kimberly was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas and visiting Mayo who was stationed at Fort Carson. After an investigation and autopsy, it was learned that Mayo hit, strangled, and smothered Kimberly after an argument. As a result, Mayo was charged with Kimberly’s pre-meditated murder. Montrell Mayo was convicted of pre-meditated murder in an Army courts martial by a panel of five military officers and sentenced to life without parole.

Related Links:
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Local Soldier Found Murdered in Colorado Springs
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Woman Allegedly Murdered By Fort Carson Soldier Identified
Woman Found Dead In Colorado ID’d As Soldier From Kansas
Woman Allegedly Murdered By Fort Carson Soldier Identified
Family says goodbye to slain Army daughter
Soldier Charged With Murder In Girlfriend’s Death
Soldier charged with murder in girlfriend’s death
Soldier Wanted For Murder In Colorado, Arrested In Greenville
Soldier Charged In Colorado Death Arrested In North Carolina
Soldier Won’t Fight Extradition In Colorado Slaying
Soldier Wanted In Woman’s Death Is Back In Colorado
Affidavit: Soldier strangled by boyfriend after Valentine’s quarrel
Cincinnati soldier killed in Valentine’s Day fight
Court-martial set for soldier in girlfriend’s slaying
Trial Set For Soldier In Girlfriend’s Slaying
Defense: Fort Carson soldier didn’t mean to kill girlfriend
Defense attorneys: Fort Carson soldier charged with murder didn’t intend to kill girlfriend
Fort Carson Soldier’s Murder Trial Nearing End
Army sergeant convicted of murder in girlfriend’s death
Colorado Army sergeant convicted of killing his soldier girlfriend
Fort Carson soldier convicted of murder in death of girlfriend
Soldier convicted of murder in girlfriend’s death
Fort Carson soldier convicted of murder in girlfriend’s death
It’s life without parole for Fort Carson soldier
Soldier Faces Life Sentence In Death Of Girlfriend
Soldier sentenced to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend
Soldier Sentenced To Life In Girlfriend’s Slaying
Former Fort Carson soldier sentenced to life for murder of girlfriend
Soldier killed his girlfriend by mistake and then laid her on a bed of roses as an altar claims his attorney
Family: Soldier’s Life Sentence Brings ‘Closure’ After Daughter’s Murder
‘SpongeBob’ Gravestone Of Iraq Vet Killed In Colorado Rejected
Iraq veteran’s SpongeBob gravestone removed
Cemetery Removes Slain Soldier’s SpongeBob SquarePants Headstone After Approving It
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Parents of slain vet in dispute over SpongeBob Squarepants gravestone
Parents of slain vet in dispute over SpongeBob Squarepants gravestone
Family, cemetery reinstall SpongeBob headstones but with changes

Brittney Brashers, US Air Force (2009)

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Brittney Brashers, US Air Force (2009)

Honoring Brittney Brashers, USAF who was murdered by another airman who she met in Iraq; 9 months later in 2009, she was found dead near her permanent duty station at Peterson AFB, Colorado.

Watch 48 Hours Mystery: Collision Course, The Murder of Brittney Brashers

Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell Murdered by Marine Jorge Torrez in Barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia (2009)

Amanda Snell, US Navy (2009)

Petty Officer Amanda Jean Snell, US Navy

Petty Officer Amanda Jean Snell, 20, US Navy, was found dead in her room at the barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia on July 13, 2009. Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) had jurisdiction of her case. They conducted an initial investigation yet the case went nowhere because NCIS investigators confided in the murderer and were divided on whether the death was a homicide, suicide, or accidental. As a result, the DNA lab testing was not considered a priority because the autopsy was considered undetermined, not a homicide. Four years and four civilian victims later, former U.S. Marine Jorge Avila Torrez was indicted for Amanda’s murder, found guilty by a federal court, and sentenced to death in 2014.

Torrez lived on the same co-ed floor as Amanda Snell in Keith Hall barracks on the base. On the night of July 12, 2009, he entered her room, she screamed, and he strangled her in an effort to silence her. His crimes were sexually motivated. He jammed Amanda into her locker and put a pillow case over her head in an effort to fool investigators into thinking she had suffocated. After she was found dead on the federal base, NCIS began their investigation. They interviewed multiple people in the barracks and initiated a forensic examination of Amanda’s room. They claim they sent the evidence to the military DNA lab testing facility to determine if any DNA was present. In the meantime, Torrez offered to help with the investigation and NCIS accepted his offer. They asked him to spread a rumor around the barracks that they had a witness who saw someone enter her room that night.

During the stalled NCIS investigation, Torrez attacked four other civilian women in Arlington, Virginia in 2010. Three of them escaped his attempted abduction but one of them was abducted, raped, strangled, and left for dead in the woods. Torrez thought he killed her but she lived. Because all four victims reported the crimes, the Arlington Police Department was able to make the connection with the four cases. Thanks to the due diligence of two Arlington police officers, detectives were able to find out who owned the light colored SUV. These two police officers had observed on shift that the driver of this SUV was acting suspiciously and called in his license plate number to determine if he had any outstanding warrants. They learned Torrez was an active duty Marine living at Keith Hall Barracks on the the Navy base. The Arlington Police detectives had to coordinate with NCIS to gain access to the base so they could arrest him and search his room and vehicle. Jorge Torrez was jailed while he awaited trial.

While Torrez was awaiting trail, he asked some inmates to help him find a hit man to silence the three witnesses that would be testifying against him. One of the inmates he confided in was a confidential informant. After the informant reported the troubling conversations with authorities, he was asked to wear a wire to record future conversations. It was at this time that Jorge Torrez not only admitted his intentions to kill the three victims who were going to testify against him at his trial but he also revealed that he murdered Amanda Jean Snell at the Navy base. Meanwhile, the Arlington Police Department entered the DNA from the victim who was raped into CODIS, a national DNA database, and got a hit to two murders of children in Zion, Illinois where Torrez was from. When NCIS finally tested and compared the DNA on the sheets in Amanda’s room, this forensic evidence linked Torrez to Amanda’s murder as well. The Marine Corps dishonorably discharged him from the military.

NCIS bungled this investigation from the beginning. The investigators could not agree on whether Amanda Snell was murdered, committed suicide, or died accidentally. Because her autopsy report was “undetermined” and her death was not ruled a homicide, it did not have priority in the military DNA testing lab. Apparently an undetermined death and rape and sexual assault DNA is not given a high priority in military labs. When in fact, if all suspicious deaths and sex crimes were given higher priority, we could prevent further victimization and homicides. It was not until they learned of the four other victims in Arlington, Virginia and the two murders of children in Zion, Illinois that they expedited the testing of the DNA found in Amanda Snell’s room. We do not know if it is procedure for NCIS to compare DNA evidence of military members accused of crimes to the national DNA database. If they had tested the DNA earlier and entered the DNA into CODIS, they would have got a hit to the two murders in Illinois.

In the initial stages of the investigation, the NCIS agents investigated multiple people in the barracks. Jorge Torrez offered to be a confidential informant of sorts to help them with the investigation. They accepted. They asked him to spread a rumor that they had a witness who saw someone enter her room that night. They wanted to ferret out the killer by spreading panic. Quite often investigators will say they have evidence they don’t have in an attempt to cause stress and elicit confessions. Now they were not able to call anyone’s bluff. They in effect blew any chances of an effective investigation by telling the actual killer that they had nothing. It’s troubling that they did not see the red flag when Torrez offered to inject himself into the investigation. Murder suspects have been known to do this and befriend the victim’s family and friends in an attempt to stay apprised of what police know.

Lastly if sexual assault, rape, and undetermined causes of death were given higher priority in the NCIS DNA testing labs then maybe we could have prevented four other women from becoming victims of sex crimes and attempted murder. NCIS admits that the DNA was not given priority because it was not a homicide. Had NCIS made the DNA a higher priority and compared the results of the testing in CODIS, the national DNA database, they would have got a match to the DNA in Zion, Illinois. As a result of this match, they would have been able to triangulate the connection between Torrez in the barracks and where he was from in Zion, Illinois. They could have got a “commanders search warrant” to conduct a forensic examination of his room. There they would have found evidence of criminal intent like the collection of porn images they found on his computer that included fantasies about rape and suffocation of women. DNA from sexual assault and rape should be given the highest priority in the military DNA lab testing facilities to prevent an escalation of violent crimes to homicide both in the military and in our civilian communities. All DNA profiles tested in the military should be immediately entered in CODIS.

Eight months after Jorge Avila Torrez was arrested by the Arlington Police Department, he was found guilty and sentenced to five life terms and 168 years in prison for the attacks on three of the four civilian women from Arlington, Virginia. Four years later, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by the federal courts for the murder of Amanda Jean Snell on the US Navy base in Arlington, Virginia. In an unexpected plot twist Illinois authorities learned the man they convicted for the murders of Krystal Tobias (9) and Laura Hobbs (8) was innocent. Authorities released Jerry Hobbs, the father of one of the children, from jail in 2010 and vowed to try Torrez for a sexual assault of one child and the murder of both children from Zion, Illinois. Illinois authorities charged Torrez with the crimes in 2015 and are expected to go to trial some time in 2016. Jorge Torrez is currently sitting on death row.

Read more: NCIS Bungles the Amanda Snell Investigation by Confiding in Murderer & Neglecting to Compare DNA Evidence Found at the Crime Scene

Related Links:
Marine strangled Navy petty officer in 2009, feds say
Ex-Marine linked to girls’ murders charged in death of Navy officer Amanda Snell
Zion Man Charged In Woman’s Virginia Death
Former Marine Charged With 2009 Murder At Henderson Hall
‘I know someone set me up’
Predator in the Ranks: Inside a Real-Life NCIS Murder Case
Jorge Torrez Convicted in Killing of Amanda Jean Snell
Former Marine Could Face Death Penalty
Ex-Marine sentenced to death for the violent, sexually motivated murder of fellow service member
Ex-Marine sentenced to die for female sailor’s slaying
Ex-Marine Guilty of Murder, Could Face Execution
Former Marine convicted of first-degree murder in death penalty case
Former Corporal Sentenced To Death In Barracks Murder (DOJ)
Mom on death penalty for Torrez: ‘I only wish I could do it myself’
Torrez sentenced to death in sailor’s murder
Ex-Marine Jorge Torrez formally sentenced to death by federal judge
Official wants closure in Zion murders, no matter the cost
Jurors convict Zion man in Va. sailor killing, to hear evidence in slayings of 2 girls
Convicted killer Torrez pleads not guilty in Zion slayings
Ex-Marine Jorge Torrez strangled Navy Petty Officer Amanda Jean Snell to death; Sentenced to death
Judge won’t bar evidence of other crimes allegedly committed by defendant in death-penalty case
Ex-Marine Jorge Torrez won’t contest death penalty for murder of Navy sailor
USA v Jorge Avila Torrez, Notice of Intent to Seek Sentence of Death
Man charged in murder of two Zion girls not expected to face trial this year
10 years after 2 girls killed in Zion, families still await justice
Defendant in Zion double murder accuses young victim’s dad
Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall “Capital Predator”


In the shadow of the nation’s capital, a mysterious death on a Marine base confounds the NCIS — was it an accident, or was it a homicide? It won’t be long before police are hunting a violent sexual predator whose trail leads right back to the base. -Discovery ID

Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, US Marine Corps, and Spouse Quiana (2008)

Jan & Quiana Pietrzak (2008)

Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, US Marine Corps, and Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak

Honoring Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, both were slain Oct. 15, 2008. Four fellow USMC members are charged with murder under special circumstances; all face the death penalty.

Related Links:
Murder of Jan Pawel and Quiana Jenkins Pietrzak