Details of this reporting gathered from: The News & Observer. If applicable, secondary + sources are entered at the bottom of this record.
Enrique Roman-Martinez was last seen on May 22, 2020. He was reported missing on May 23, and a severed head was found six days later. After comparing dental records, the severed head was identified as Enrique Roman-Martinez.
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The 21-year-old Fort Bragg soldier found dead this summer on North Carolina’s Outer Banks was decapitated, an autopsy report says. It was a homicide, but the cause of death for Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez remains undetermined, because only a head was available for examination, according to the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine.
“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 report states. “A definitive cause of death cannot be determined, (but) the findings in this case are most consistent with death due to homicide.”
Among the findings: “Evidence of multiple chop injuries of the head” and a jaw broken in at least two places, the report says. A toxicology report was also done and detected no evidence of drug use in the soldier’s tissues, officials said. Roman-Martinez, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, was reported missing May 23, while on a Memorial Day weekend camping trip with friends at Cape Lookout National Seashore, according to the National Park Service.
A 10-day search was launched at the park for Roman-Martinez after he vanished, and during that period a human head washed up on a beach at the Shackleford Banks, NPS officials said. Dental records positively identified the remains as that of Roman-Martinez, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command says. Roman-Martinez, a native of Chino, California, was last seen May 22 at a campsite on the park’s South Core Banks, the Army says.
“His phone and wallet were found at the campsite,” Army investigators say. A $25,000 reward has been offered for tips leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, the Army says. To date, no arrests have been announced. Roman-Martinez was “a three-time volunteer” starting in September 2016, according to the Army. He was assigned to Fort Bragg in March 2017 and served as a human resource specialist, officials said. The mystery surrounding his death — and the grisly details — have earned the case heavy media attention in Roman-Martinez’s home state of California.
A Change.org petition set up to raise awareness and “rally justice” (Justice For Enrique Roman Martinez) has gotten nearly 20,000 signatures. “It was so cruel what they did to him,” Roman-Martinez’s sister, Griselda Martinez, said in a July interview with KABC. “Why did they have to do that to him? ... Why did they have to go the extra step to do this to him?”
This case file was posted on
Nov 09, 2021 at 18:30
This case file was last modified on
Nov 09, 2021 at 19:01
This case file has been assigned the Missing Persons ID 6787
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