Local News

Fort Bragg nurse sought protection from Marine husband after gun incident

Posted July 11, 2008

— A missing Army officer who's a nurse at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center sought court protection in May from her Marine husband after, she wrote, he had knocked her down, held a loaded 9mm pistol to her head and then held it to his own head and threatened to commit suicide.

Holley Lynn Wimunc, 24, from Lafayette, La., is a second lieutenant assigned to Charlie Company at Womack and a nurse in the hospital's mother-and-baby ward, her first Army assignment. She has been considered a missing person since colleagues found her apartment burned and her gone Thursday morning. She had not reported to work.

In papers filed with Cumberland District Court, Wimunc wrote that her husband, Cpl. John Patrick Wimunc, was intoxicated during a May 17 incident and "held loaded 9mm to my head; choked me. Threw me around living room."

"Spouse also held gun to his own head. Wrote his initials on a bullet. Notified his mother of intent to harm self," her request for a protection order states.

Wimunc listed the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune as her husband's place of work and said he is a member of Alpha Co., 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion. A Camp Lejeune spokesman said Fayetteville police and State Bureau of Investigation agents spoke with John Wimunc on Thursday and then returned him to his unit.

Darci Woody works with Wimunc at the hospital. She said she had chatted with Wimunc Tuesday or Wednesday.

"I think she was getting ready to go to softball practice. She just started playing for the team on post and (was) getting ready to practice, I guess," Woody said. "She looked tired because she had been up and she had gone out the night before. She seemed happy."

Woody describes Wimunc as "bubbly" and talkative.

Woody said Wimunc's divorce had become final last week. She said she was unaware of any violence.

For a second day Friday, police had the parking lot outside Wimunc's apartment sealed off. Police dogs searched the woods across Morganton Road, but didn't turn up anything.

Residents at the apartment complex were allowed to stay at their homes Friday night. Police escorts were provided. Residents were told not to walk around the apartment building and to stay inside their units.

In 2007, Wimunc filed papers that persuaded Cumberland District Court to order Lindsay Hunter, of Avon, Ill., to stop posting Internet photos of herself and John Wimunc "with comments directed at me."

Reached by phone, Hunter told WRAL News she had "no comment" and to never call back.

Several hours after their investigation began Thursday, officials ordered the multi-unit building evacuated because, they said, they feared fire could break out again. There was a smell of gasoline at the building, and police classified the case as arson.

The call for police to come to the Morganton Place Apartments, at 146 Wayah Creek Drive off Morganton Road, came in just after 9 a.m. No fire had been reported overnight, and police said it apparently burned itself out before anyone noticed.

Police found a window shattered and two or three bedrooms had been burned.

Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the State Bureau of Investigation were at the scene with Fayetteville police.

It was not known if Thursday was the first day the lieutenant missed at work.

“Our family is still trying to absorb the impact of this week’s stunning events in Fayetteville,” Holley Wimunc’s family said in a statement released Friday night.

Jeff James, Holley’s father, provided the statement. The James family currently lives in Dubuque, Iowa.

“When you read about or watch television news reports of incidents like this, you can hardly believe that it could happen to you. But it has – we are so grateful for the thoughts, support and prayers of friends today – something we’re leaning on heavily right now. As we have said before, our first concern is our daughter Holley – and that she will be returned to us,” the family wrote.

The family said they would not be making any further statements due to the ongoing investigation.

This incident follows the discovery last month of a Fort Bragg soldier dead in her hotel room in Fayetteville after she had not reported for duty with her unit.

The death of Spc. Megan Touma of Cold Spring, Ky., is being treated as a homicide. Police said they do not believe the cases are connected.

83 Comments

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  • janeybelle Jul 11, 9:54 p.m.

    I don't know if anyone realizes this but if you take out a restraining order on someone and if either the accused or the accuser doesn't show up for court the restraining order is now null and void. My daughter took out a restraining order and the other party didn't show up so the WHOLE thing was thrown out of court. Is that justice or what?

  • teacher-mom Jul 11, 9:42 p.m.

    Not all abusers are men. Women can be abusers. It is not uncommon for children to abuse their parents.

  • teacher-mom Jul 11, 9:40 p.m.

    How did this get on the subject of illegitimate children? If someone in the military is the father/mother of a child, that child is taken care of. All you have to do is report it to the CO. I imagine that appies to all children.

    I do not know why anyone who is not married would have a child. You have to be financially independent to have a child and not live in poverty. That is not fair to the child or the parent.

  • letsroll65 Jul 11, 9:25 p.m.

    Oh by the way our family has not brought in the world any children outside of the bonds of marriage.

  • teacher-mom Jul 11, 9:13 p.m.

    Rogers922 you said it. I do not think anyone could have said it better. I do not know what the answer is. I do know what the authorities are doing is not working. Looks like they would do something else. I wonder why they do not do something else.

    I do not want a gun. I might drop it or shoot myself. Who knows, I might go crazy and shoot someone else.

  • rogers922 Jul 11, 9:00 p.m.

    cbarnett wrote: "All women need to buy a gun. Especially after already being assaulted. Even restraining orders don't keep them from being killed. No one can protect them but themselves."

    The thing about restraining orders is they have to be against someone who would respect what that restraining order represents and respects the law. Since the abuser obviously doesn't respect the life of the one he is abusing, that little piece of paper called a restraining or protective order isn't worth the paper it is written on. All this paper does is put law enforcement on notice that someone is abusing someone else and then when he/she comes around again or the abused is so hurt they have to go to the hospital or they are murdered, well, then you have a real good suspect. You have documented evidence that person A was scared of person B and the drama behind it.

    As a DV survivor I can say that there is no piece of paper that would have kept my husband away. That is why I ran, with the kids

  • dont-be-a-hater Jul 11, 8:57 p.m.

    NC Teacher...OH please! My ex-husband- who was an abuser- was a construction worker- so I find it hard to believe that men like this will just flock to jobs where they can be in charge and control like the military- police force etc as you said....It can be the quiestest man next door or the dad who drops off the child in your class.....you won't know- only his family most likely and sadly behind closed doors- to everyone else- they appear nice and just as everyone says about them in the many articles we read in the news. He was nice to everyone- would do anything for you...blah blah blah.....Wake up- get your head out of the sand and watch for the signs.

  • letsroll65 Jul 11, 8:54 p.m.

    I guess I will throw my 2 cents worth in here. Both of my parents were in the army. Both were farm raised. Had a strong work ethic.Did well in the army. Married and had my brother and I. Never one time did my daddy hit my mom or us for that matter.My mom never abused us.Had a good life. When I grew up I went in the army. I met my husband we got married and had kids. We never abuse each other or the kids. We had two boys with adhd. We took the to family counsling. We learned the best way to deal with them and make productive citizens out of them. In fact they are currently along with dh serving in the army.Now our sons nor husband have EVER,EVER hit a women!!! The boys have never been abusive to any of the women in their lives.I think the ones who do that come from all walks of life. I remember a case of a banker or lawyer who killed his twin girls??Also a banker in Iowa who killed his whole family and then himself. They were not in the army/marines. Praying for all. Steph

  • imacopicemanPWNT Jul 11, 8:46 p.m.

    "Why offensive? The military men needs to stop bringing illegitimate children in the world and not supporting them like they should. If they desire more childen then they should go to their wife. If they cannot do this then it is time for a divorce. The children are paying the price of the laid-back military soldier. Still offended?" Dr. Dataclerk

    Women need to stop bringing illegitimate children into the world and not properly raising them. If they desire children, they should get married or at least have the means to properly raise their children. If they cannot do this, then they shouldn't have children. The children are paying the price.

  • doubletrouble Jul 11, 8:05 p.m.

    It's basically corporate greed. I work for a company who has posted, every quarter RECORD profits, year after year. The CEO got a 6x bonus to his base salary, while employees got a 3%bonus..with higher premiums for company insurance, with far less coverage, including mental, dental and vision reductions. The military really needs to step up to the plate, and provide mental health benefits to our young folks, who during a time of war have had to deal with horrific things, and extended time away from love ones-with alot of divorce/stress/suicide. I hope they find this young woman in safety, and have her in my prayers.

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