Army: rules not followed in Touma death

September 11, 2008 6:58:33 PM PDT
The U.S. Army admits Spc. Megan Touma's unit did not follow procedures to keep track of her after she arrived at Fort Bragg.

According to the findings of an investigation into the loss of accountability of Touma, "policies and procedures" were not followed and lead to a loss of accountability for the soldier.

The 19th Replacement Company was responsible for keeping account of Touma. According to findings, a number of "redundant checks and balances in place to ensure accountability" were not followed by that unit and several officers.

Touma signed in with her unit on June 12 between 2 and 2:20 a.m. At that time, she did not provide official personnel files which contain emergency contact information.

She was present for formation at 6:15 that same morning.

Her commanding officer last saw her at the end of the day on June 12. He left on scheduled leave on June 16 and turned his unit over to another officer.

The Army confirms Touma signed out of her room but did not leave a contact phone number. All soldiers are required to provide their contact information when they sign into a unit.

At the 6:15 formation on 16 June, Touma's acting officer in charge of accountability did not obtain the unit's computer generated roster prior to formation. Therefore, he did not know who was assigned to the unit.

The officer later removed Touma from the roster after being told she had moved to her assigned Fort Bragg unit. At that time, the officer did not cross check Touma's name to verify who left the unit for their permanently assigned unit.

According to the Army, the officer in charge of Touma's accountability was not truthful to an investigating officer on June 16. That accountability officer received a letter of reprimand for his actions.

In addition, letters of reprimand were issued to two other officers for failing to ensure accountability was followed.

The Fayetteville Police Department believes Touma was killed between June 13 and 14. The Army says the loss of accountability did not lead to her death.

Additionally, the Army states, "The sequence of events and subsequent errors on the side of 19th Replacement could not have prevented her death, but it would have been alerted to her issue much sooner. 19th Replacement is continuing to improve operations in order to prevent these errors in the future."

The 23-year-old soldier was found dead in a Fayetteville hotel room on June 12. She was seven months pregnant.

Sgt. Edgar Patino, 27, admitted to fathering the baby and is charged with Touma's death.


Load Comments