Apologies, promises to families in Bragg deaths

September 21, 2010 8:22:51 PM PDT
Fort Bragg leaders held their second town hall meeting Tuesday about the investigation involving 10 infant deaths on post in the last four years.During the meeting, officials offered some apologies and even made some promises to the grieving families.

So far, Fort Bragg leaders have ruled out Chinese drywall as a cause in the deaths, but other agencies have not.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission will be on post next week to begin some extensive testing, giving the families some comfort.

Three babies had been staying in the same home on Groesbeek Drive on Fort Bragg when they died -- baby Jadon died in 2007, while in 2009, baby Jay'vair and his cousin Ka'mya died just months apart.

The CPSC is the lead federal agency investigating toxic Chinese drywall and they were first contacted by one of the grieving families, not Fort Bragg.

Jadon's mother, Pearline Sculley, says she is confident in the agency.

"Yes because they are not in the military," she said. "I feel like the military will try to cover up as much as possible and they will not, they're an independent agency and will say whatever it is that they find."

She says her lack of confidence in Fort Bragg stems from what she describes as a lack of communication.

The same frustration is also felt by the Neuterman family, who lost their 2-month-old baby Emma last year.

"I found out about the investigation first from you guys, watching your channel," Emma father SPC Robert Neuterman said.

And they brought their concerns about drywall to officials at Fort Bragg.

"Her bassinet, her bouncy chair and her swing were all against the wall and within the next day they told us they wanted us to go and speak to the investigators," Cassandra Neuterman said.

Fort Bragg leaders have promised better communication from now on.

"I did apologize and took responsibility for the command at Fort Bragg for them not getting all the information that they probably deserve," Garrison Commander Col. Stephen Sicinski said. "Unfortunately, we don't owe them any information but it's probably the right thing to do in this case."

The results from the CPSC testing are not expected back until February. Meanwhile, ground samples were also collected for soil testing on Tuesday.

The 18th Airborne Corps Chief of Staff says they're trying to be as transparent as possible and they'll hold another town hall meeting Thursday at Browley Elementary on post.

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