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The family of an U.S. Army paratrooper wants answers after he disappeared on a camping trip — only for his dismembered body to later wash ashore in North Carolina.
The family of 21-year-old Specialist Enrique Roman-Martinez — whose partial remains were found in the Outer Banks on May 29 — have contended that military officials at Fort Bragg in North Carolina haven't been forthcoming with details about the case.
"It was so cruel what they did to him," Griselda Martinez, the victim's sister, told California-based ABC 7 of her brother's dismemberment. "Why did they have to do that to him? He's already gone. Why did they have to go the extra step to do this to him? So, it was really hard for us, too."
The Army Criminal Investigation Command previously offered a reward of $15,000 for information in the case, according to the Army Times. They have since upgraded the reward to $25,000, according to a June 30 press release from Army CID.
Roman-Martinez was last seen camping in the Outer Banks on Memorial Day weekend, with a group of fellow soldiers. A call was placed to 911 around 7 p.m. on May 23 — claiming that Roman-Martinez had disappeared and was last seen wearing blue shorts. The call was placed 19 hours after he was last seen, ABC 7 reported.
If Roman-Martinez wandered off, he did so without his personal belongings, including his phone, wallet, and glasses, a detail that his family finds unbelievable.
"My brother can't see without his glasses, so for him to walk out in the middle of the night without his glasses, it's not likely. He can't see, where would he go?" Griselda told ABC 7.
The 21 year old's partial remains were found washed up on Shackleford Banks Island about a week later, on May 29, and were identified through dental records, according to ABC News.
“We are deeply saddened by Spc. Roman-Martinez’s untimely passing,” his battalion commander Lt. Col. Scotty Autin told the Army Times in a statement. “He was well-liked by those who served alongside him. Spc. Roman-Martinez had a great attitude and the tragedy of his loss is felt by all of us."
Anyone with information in Roman-Martinez's disappearance and homicide is encouraged to contact Army CID Special Agents at (910) 396-8777, the Military Police Desk at (910) 396-1179 or submit information online.
The homicide comes amid scrutiny of the Army's handling of the killing of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who was apparently murdered by a fellow solider at Fort Hood who later killed himself when confronted by authorities.
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