An autopsy has determined that a Fort Bragg soldier found dead on North Carolina’s Outer Banks this summer was decapitated, according to a report from the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine.
Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez’s death was ruled a homicide, but the cause of death remains undetermined because only his head was available for examination, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
“While decapitation is, in and of itself, universally fatal, the remainder of the body in this case was not available for examination, and therefore potential causes of death involving the torso and extremities cannot be excluded,” the report stated.
“A definitive cause of death cannot be determined, (but) the findings in this case are most consistent with death due to homicide,” it continued.
The report said his jaw was broken in at least two places and there was “evidence of multiple chop injuries of the head,” according to the paper. No evidence of drug use was detected.
Roman-Martinez, 21, was reported missing by his friends while on a Memorial Day trip at Cape Lookout National Seashore in May. He was last seen wearing a blue pair of shorts at his campsite on May 22, near mile marker 46 on South Core Banks, according to the National Park Service (NPS).
Authorities conducted a 10-day search in an effort to find him, and during that time period, officials said a human head washed up on Shackelford Banks.
Roman-Martinez was a native of Chino, Calif., and a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. During a memorial service in August, those who knew him said he was a smart, caring, and “happy kid.”
“We loved him so much. He was so funny, so lovable,” said his sister, Griselda, according to Durham’s WTVD.
A $25,000 reward has been offered for tips leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, according to the Army. As of last week, no arrests have been announced.
The Associated Press contributed to this report