Local News

Army investigates soldier's death in Iraq as homicide

Posted November 17, 2010 10:49 a.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2010 4:38 p.m. EST

— The Army is investigating the July death of a Fort Bragg soldier in Iraq as a homicide, reversing its initial ruling that her death was accidental, officials said Tuesday.

Spc. Morganne M. McBeth, 19, of Fredericksburg, Va., died July 2 in Al Asad, Iraq, of injuries sustained a day earlier in a non-combat-related incident in Khan Al Baghdadi, Iraq, according to a military statement issued at the time of her death.

"The original report to CID was that the death was as a result of an accident. However, as the criminal investigation progressed, our special agents came to disbelieve the report of an accident," said Chris Grey, spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigative Command, or CID, said in a statement.

"We take the death of this soldier very seriously and are investigating it as a homicide," Grey said.

McBeth's parents couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment, but they have publicly said that the Army has told them three different version of how their daughter died.

First, officials said she accidentally stabbed herself. Then, they said she was accidentally stabbed by another soldier. Finally, they said two other soldiers killed her.

Grey didn't release any details of the investigation, but he said no charges have been filed in the case.

"Because we try to keep families updated on our findings as the case progresses, the reports to the family very well would have changed," he said. "Keep in mind that only at the conclusion of the investigation will there be conclusive findings based on final lab results, witness statements and other issues that significantly affect a death investigation of this importance."

McBeth was a combat medic assigned to 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The brigade deployed to Iraq in August 2009.