Procession for 21-year-old paratrooper murdered
On Wednesday, August 19, a procession was held at the Los Angeles International Airport for a 21-year-old paratrooper who was suspiciously murdered and dismembered. According to ABC7, Enrique Roman-Martinez was an army paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division from Chino, California. During the Memorial Day weekend, Martinez had decided to go camping with seven other soldiers from Fort Bragg to an island off the outer banks of North Carolina. ABC11 reports that on May 29, six days after Martinez disappeared on the camping trip, partial body remains were washed up on Shackleford Banks, near the campsite. A week later, dental records revealed that the remains were those of Enrique Roman-Martinez.
A suspicious 911 call
Martinez had arrived at the campsite near Mile Marker 46 on South Core Banks around Friday, May 22. According to ABC11, on Saturday, May 23, at 7 pm. police received a frantic 911 call from the group of soldiers Martinez was with, 19 hrs after they last saw him. The unknown caller stated that they had all gone to bed at 12:03 am at midnight. They claimed that it was the last time they would see Martinez. According to ArmyTimes, the caller stated to police that when they woke up to find Martinez missing, they spent the whole day looking for him. Earlier that day, park rangers asked the group of soldiers to move their vehicles as they were parked too close to dunes. The park rangers left after the group agreed to move their cars. They never mentioned that Martinez had been missing.
Suspicious death ruled a murder
After police identified the remains of Martinez, investigators ruled his death as a homicide. According to DailyBulletin, the caller claimed that Martinez left with only his blue shorts on. He disappeared without his t-shirt, phone, glasses, or wallet. His sister Griselda Martinez says that his brother couldn’t see without his glasses. He wouldn’t have been able to walk very far in the middle of the night, reports ABC11. Furthermore, medical examiners told Griselda that a propellor or a shark did not make her brothers’ injuries. According to ArmyTimes, the body remains found, and inconsistencies of his injuries led police to establish his death as a homicide.
The family of Enrique Roman-Martinez is fighting to bring those responsible to justice. Maria Guadalupe Martinez states, “No one had the right to take someone’s life, my son’s life, away, reports the DailyBulletin. According to ArmyTimes, the Martinez family has been having a hard time getting answers from Army investigators. Martinez’s sister Griselda and mother Maria wanted to speak to the last people who saw him alive. They had not permitted them to talk to the six men and one woman Martinez was with when he disappeared. According to CBSLocal, there have been no possible suspects or arrests made. The FBI is currently investigating the ongoing case. The Army is offering a $25,000 reward for any credible information leading to the murderer’s arrest.