Ft. Bragg soldier person of interest in death of pregnant servicewoman



Ft. Bragg soldier person of interest in death of pregnant servicewoman


Posted: Today at 7:05 p.m.
Updated: 47 minutes ago

Fayetteville, N.C. - A military official said a soldier at Fort Bragg is a
person of interest in the death of a pregnant servicewoman found dead June
21 in a Fayetteville motel room.

Lt. Col. John Clearwater told WRAL on Saturday the male soldier is a
training student at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
located at Fort Bragg. The center falls under the command of special
operations.

Clearwater said no arrests have been made.

Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, was found June 21 in a room at the Fairfield Inn
on Morganton Road after guests complained of an odor coming from inside. She
was seven months pregnant, police said.

Clearwater declined to say anything more, citing the Fayetteville Police
Department as handling the investigation.

Search warrants released Friday evening showed blood might have been
detected in the hotel room where a Touma was found dead, and a local
newspaper reported getting a letter from a person claiming to be her killer.

Investigators seized two section of drywall containing a red substance
suspected to be blood from Touma's room, according to the search warrants.
Swabbings of DNA and other items were also taken from the hotel room and a
rented Chevrolet Trailblazer parked outside.

The Fayetteville Observer has also released a letter, dated June 17, from a
person purporting to be the killer of Touma. The letter carries a symbol
used by the Zodiac killer, a serial killer from the 1960s.

The newspaper says an anonymous source told its reporters that police found
an identical sign in lipstick on the bathroom mirror of Touma's room.
Fayetteville police told the paper that although the letter is valuable
evidence, they believe it was written to mislead investigators and the
public.

The Fayetteville Police Department have called Touma's death suspicious but
released no details of the investigation.

An autopsy was conducted on her decomposed body to determine the cause of
death, but the results hadn't been released by Friday evening.

Fort Bragg officials said Touma was assigned to the base June 12. A dental
specialist from Cold Spring, Ky., who had been in the Army for five years,
she previously was assigned to Army dental clinics in Germany and at Fort
Drum, N.Y., officials said.

She attended two required formations that day but wasn't seen on base after
that. Fort Bragg spokeswoman Maj. Angela Funaro said each unit commander has
the discretion to declare a soldier absent without leave after 24 hours. If
Touma had been deemed AWOL, military and local police would have been
notified.

The Army is investigating to determine why Touma wasn't declared AWOL and
whether anyone tried to check on her, Funaro said. The investigation is
being led by Fort Bragg's commanding general and was expected to last 14
days, she said.

Touma was staying at the Fayetteville motel while she looked for off-base
living quarters, Funaro said.

A maintenance supervisor at the hotel found her body in the bathtub of her
room after going inside shortly before she was scheduled to check out,
according to the application for a search warrant filed in the case. Hotel
workers hadn't entered the room in four days because a "Do Not Disturb" sign
had been hanging outside, the document stated.

Although some of the furniture was displaced in the room, there was no
indication in the document that there was evidence of a struggle.

The 19th Replacement Company, to which Touma was assigned at Fort Bragg,
held a private memorial service for her Friday morning in Hope Chapel on the
base.



http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/3122798/


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