A PARATROOPER who mysteriously disappeared from a campsite before parts of his body washed ashore was decapitated, according to a newly released autopsy report.
Specialist Enrique Roman-Martinez, 21, from California, who was stationed at Fort Bragg, went missing on North Carolina’s Outer banks during a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend.
On May 29, parts of his body, including his severed head, washed ashore near the Mile Marker 53 campsite on Shackleford Banks.
A week later, dental records confirmed the dismembered body was that of the missing soldier.
The autopsy report, released by the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, lists the cause of death as “homicide by undetermined means".
“While decapitation is, in and of itself, universally fatal, the remainder of the body in this case was not available for examination, and therefore potential causes of death involving the torso and extremities cannot be excluded,” it reads.
According to the report, Roman-Martinez's head displayed numerous “chop injuries,” a broken jaw, cuts, and a fractured spine.
“Despite multiple conversations with investigating officers, no explanation for the death of this individual or the findings at autopsy has been offered,” the report read.
“It is therefore my opinion that while a definitive cause of death cannot be determined, the findings, in this case, are most consistent with death due to homicide.”
The victim's sister Griselda Martinez said it was difficult to learn of the details regarding her brother's brutal death, including that his eyes were missing and his hair had been pulled out.
But she and her family felt it was important to read the autopsy report, she said.
“It was so cruel what they did to him,” she told the Fayetteville Observer.
“Why did they have to do that to him? He’s already gone. Why did they have to go the extra step to do this to him? So, it was really hard for us, too.”
Roman-Martinez, from Chino, California, was a resource specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division’s 37th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat.
Friends who were with the soldier called 911, ABC 13 reports, and said they last saw him walking away at around midnight, wearing only blue shorts.
“When we woke up he was not here and we’ve been looking for him all day,” the caller said.
“We might be afraid that he might’ve hurt himself but we’re really not sure.”
Yet, when two rangers in uniform asked them to move their vehicles the following day at around 2 pm, no one in the group of friends mentioned or asked about Roman-Martinez.
“We remain committed to finding those responsible for the senseless killing of our teammate, Spc. Roman-Martinez,” Lt. Col. Mike Burns said.
“We also remain in constant contact with his family to keep them informed on progress with the case.”
Major General, Christopher Donahue described Roman-Martinez as a valued member of the team and said the Army was doing everything it can to support his family and obtain justice.
“Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez was a soldier and valued member of our team. Our condolences remain with his family, friends, and fellow Paratroopers,” Donahue said in a statement.
“Over Memorial Day weekend we lost Enrique to a senseless act of violence. We are doing everything we can to support his family and find justice for Enrique.
“I’ve personally spoken with his family to assure them that we will not stop in our pursuit to bring those responsible to justice."
Audio from a 911 call made on May 23 later shed some light on Roman-Martinez last moments alive.
In the recording, one person in the group tells the dispatcher they saw him walk away wearing only blue shorts and no shirt around midnight, roughly 19 hours before the call was made.
Roman-Martinez’s friends were concerned after they could not locate him, “When we woke up he was not there and we’ve been looking for him all day," the caller said.
“So we all went to bed at 12:03. That’s when we all decided to go to bed and that is the last time we saw him.”’
However, the family has questioned whether Roman-Martinez would simply just walk off on his own without a phone or wallet, which were later found at the campsite, according to ABC News.
His sister noted that her brother would not have been able to walk out alone in the middle of the night without his glasses.
“Because my brother can’t see without his glasses, so for him to walk out in the middle of the night without his glasses, it’s not likely. He can’t see, where would he go?,” she said.
The US Army Investigation Command has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of those responsible.
Source: Read Full Article