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Autopsy: Fort Bragg paratrooper murdered on Memorial Day camping trip was decapitated

Posted December 4, 2020 8:26 a.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2020 11:29 a.m. EST

A Fort Bragg paratrooper who was murdered in May had been decapitated, according to an autopsy report.

Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez, 21, disappeared in May while camping with fellow soldiers on an island at Cape Lookout National Seashore.

His severed head was found on a beach at Shackleford Banks on May 29, and the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine performed an autopsy on June 3.

The autopsy found evidence of multiple chop injuries, a broken jaw, cuts and a fractured cervical spine.

The medical examiner noted that no cause of death could be determined because there was no body to examine, so the death was attributed to “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,” the autopsy report states. "According to reports, this decedent was last known alive by friends with whom he had gone camping. Despite multiple conversations with investigating officers, no explanation for the death of this individual or the findings at autopsy has been offered. 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."

Roman-Martinez was from Chino, Calif., and was a human resource specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division’s 37th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

Lt. Col. Michael Burns, spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, said a $25,000 reward remains in place for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder. The FBI is helping Army investigators on the case.

"We still stand with the family," Burns said. "We give them regular updates on the case. and we're leveraging every resource possible to find those responsible for this and bring them to justice."

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