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Soldiers indicted in two 2008 deaths

A Cumberland County grand jury formally indicted a Fort Bragg soldier in the murder of Spc. Megan Touma last year.

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Spc. Megan Lynn Touma
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A Cumberland County grand jury formally indicted a Fort Bragg soldier Wednesday in the murder of Spc. Megan Touma.

Sgt. Edgar Patino, 27, of 374 Lairgate Lane in Hope Mills, was charged with first-degree murder in her death. He is being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center without bond.

Touma's body, 23, was found June 21, 2008 in a room at the Fairfield Inn near Cross Creek Mall. Investigators said they believe she was killed seven to eight days earlier. An autopsy showed she most likely died of asphyxiation by strangling or drowning. Touma was pregnant, and Patino was the father of her unborn child, police said.
The grand jury also indicted two soldiers on charges of first-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Sgt. Christina E. Smith on Sept. 30. Smith, 29, of Ohio, was stabbed twice in the back, once in the neck and once in the left arm, according to the report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Her husband, Sgt. Richard Smith, 26, of Denton, Texas, has been charged, as has Pfc. Matthew Kvapil, 19, of Santee, Calif. Both are accused of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The Smiths and Kvapil were assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group.

The Smiths were walking near their house on Baxter Street when, Richard Smith said, someone attacked her. According to police records, Kvapil said Richard Smith asked him repeatedly to kill his wife – and eventually offered $30,000 for the deed to be carried out.