Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez, a soldier stationed at Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina, was found dead this summer in the Outer Banks.
Few details about his death were announced at the time, but results of the autopsy have recently been published, and they indicate that Roman-Martinez was the victim of a homicide. Not only that, but he was also decapitated.
The autopsy was conducted by the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine.
Another disturbing detail revealed about the case was the fact that the rest of his body was missing.
Police were only able to find the victim’s head, and without the rest of the body, the Medical Examiner was unable to determine exactly what the cause of death was.
“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,” the Medical Examiner’s report states.
The report also suggested that there was evidence of multiple chop injuries to the head and a jaw broken in at least two places.
21-year-old Roman-Martinez was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but he is originally from Chino, California.
Roman-Martinez was “a three-time volunteer” starting in September 2016, according to the Army. He was assigned to Fort Bragg in March 2017 and served as a human resource specialist.
He was reported missing May 23 of this year, while he was on a Memorial Day weekend camping trip with friends at Cape Lookout National Seashore.
Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez's death was a homicide, but the cause of death remains undetermined because only his head was available for examination. https://t.co/JhmJY2PMgC
— 48 Hours (@48hours) December 7, 2020
The army has announced a $25,000 reward for any tips that might lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the murder.
“All he wanted was to do good in his life, so he joined the military,” his sister Griselda Martinez told CBS Los Angeles in August. “And this is what happened to him? We only have a part of him, that’s it. This is not right. This should never have happened to my brother.”
Roman-Martinez was last seen at a campsite on the park’s South Core Banks, the Army says.
“His phone and wallet were found at the campsite,” Army investigators say.
Thus far, no suspects have been announced in the case, and police have not said if they questioned the group of friends that Roman-Martinez was last seen with. Roman-Martinez is the most recent of numerous soldiers who have been killed while stationed on various bases across the US.
Fort Hood in Texas is one of the most notorious bases in the country, with nearly a dozen soldiers dying mysteriously in the past year while stationed on the base. However, Fort Hood is not alone, as it appears that soldiers face just as much danger in the borders of the US as they do when they are deployed to the battlefield, and oftentimes, the threat is from within their own ranks.