Family of slain Army paratrooper from Chino asks for answers in unsolved case – San Bernardino Sun

The family of an Army paratrooper from Chino, whose partial remains washed ashore days after he was reported missing during a camping trip with fellow soldiers in North Carolina in May 2020, called upon officials Thursday to seek justice in the unsolved case.

The family of Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez, 21, asked for a probe by the Department of Justice and FBI into the homicide, an investigation that is currently being led by the Army Criminal Investigation Command, during a press conference in downtown Los Angeles. Martinez’s sister, mother and their lawyer questioned the Army’s impartiality and ability to charge those responsible for Martinez’s death.

“My brother gave so much of his life to serve this country,” Griselda Hernandez, 27, said. “The least they could’ve done is give us answers if they couldn’t send him back home.”

The Army CID and FBI did not immediately respond to comment.

Martinez’s family was asking for more information from investigators after news broke that three of the seven soldiers who were at the camping trip were facing charges, according to an Associated Press story last week.

The group was camping on Cape Lookout National Seashore when Roman-Martinez was last seen May 22, 2020, and reported missing by members of the group a day later, the Army’s CID said in an August statement. His severed head washed ashore on May 29, 2020, turning the missing person investigation into a homicide investigation.

Spc. Alex R. Becerra, Pvt. Annamarie L. Cochell and Pfc. Samad A. Landrum were all charged with making a false official statement, disobeying a lawful order and using LSD, the Associated Press reported. They were all assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, the same as Roman-Martinez.

Becerra, who made the 911 call to report Roman-Martinez missing, was also facing charges of conspiracy, according to the Associated Press.

Dustin Collier, lawyer for the family of Roman-Martinez, said he and the family learned of the charges through news reports and not from the Army. Collier said he and Griselda Martinez were told earlier last year that the soldiers would face the lesser charges in hopes of getting a potential confession out of someone, but were then told in August that no charges would be filed and the case went cold.

Learning of the charges this month was a shock, he said.

“Here we are, nearly two years later (after Roman-Martinez’s death) and we have no more answers than we began with and that is unacceptable,” Collier said. “When our soldiers volunteer to risk their lives, sacrifice their freedoms to protect ours, the least we can do is protect them when they’re here.”

The League of United Latin American Citizens, which hosted the Thursday press conference, asked that all of those involved in Roman-Martinez’s death be held accountable and for the Army to relinquish their role in the investigation, spokesman Jose Barrera said.

While Griselda Martinez said she was happy some charges were brought forth, she won’t rest until murder charges come.

Her younger brother was three months away from being honorably discharged. Roman-Martinez had goals to go to college and eventually become a pharmacologist, with aspirations to help people suffering from depression, Griselda Martinez said.

The FBI has assisted with the CID’s investigation as part of a task force. As of August, the CID said 100-plus warrants and subpoenas were executed, 400-plus interviews were conducted, and returned multiple times to the island where Roman-Martinez’s remains were found to conduct air, land and sea searches to look for additional evidence.

The death is a “real mystery on what exactly happened,” CID Special Agent Steve Chancellor said in an August statement, adding that investigators need the public’s help after “all logical theories or suspicions that were developed to date have been investigated and either discounted or disproven.”

There was a $50,000 reward for information on the death of Roman-Martinez. Anyone with information was asked to contact Army CID Special Agents at 910-396-8777, the Fort Bragg Military Police Desk at 910-396-1179, or anonymously at

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