Fort Bragg: Nothing found in infant deaths investigation

Fort Bragg (Wikimedia)

October 27, 2010 4:20:00 AM PDT
Fort Bragg says it has not been able to find anything in base housing that led to the mysterious deaths of 10 infants on post over the last four years.On Tuesday, leaders said all their tests came back negative across the board.

While leaders say they feel it gives them a lot of answers, grieving families say they feel they're still searching for answers and for information.

"If there was something in the home that caused my son's death or if it didn't, if they ruled it out, I deserve to know that's one less thing I have to wonder about," grieving mother Mackenzie Agee said.

Agee's son, Lachlan, died on Fort Bragg in May 2008. She says she's learned about the negative results from ABC11 Eyewitness News and not from Fort Bragg.

Bragg officials say they contacted every family, left messages and met with at least half of those who experienced an infant death to tell them about the results.

They say they had labs off post analyze everything from the air and water quality, to the drywall inside homes.

"From our perspective the tests are conclusive and none of the results indicate any contributing factors towards SIDS or SUIDS," Garrison Commander Col. Steve Sicinski said.

Any compounds that were detected, Bragg officials say, were within OSHA allowable exposure limits, however, those limits are set for adult exposure not infants.

"Children are certainly more susceptible to chemicals and other compounds than adults," said Audrey Oxendine with Fort Bragg DPW Environmental Compliance Branch.

But Fort Bragg says it stands by the results.

Any testing done for them is separate from the federal investigation by the Army. They've brought in the Consumer Product Safety Commission, EPA and other agencies to conduct their own environmental tests and to investigate how Fort Bragg originally handled the deaths.

Those are results Agee says she is waiting to hear about.

"I have more faith in the federal investigation," she said.

However, it could be months before the results from federal investigation are released.

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