Army Investigates Death at JBLM


The Army is investigating a death that occurred early Saturday, August 25 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The News Tribune was contacted Sunday by members of a family who said the death was the result of a soldier fatally stabbing his wife.

A woman who identified herself as the victim's mother said her daughter was in her late 30s and lived on base with her husband and their four children.

Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield said Sunday that the Army's Criminal Investigation Division began investigating a death on the base Saturday.

He would not confirm whether that's where the death occurred and declined to release further details. The Criminal Investigation Division did not return messages from The News Tribune on Sunday.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office could not confirm the death, saying a killing on the base would be out of its jurisdiction.

KOMO-TV reported that base residents had told its reporter that a soldier had stabbed his wife to death. KOMO said base officials declined to comment on the report.

The News Tribune is not identifying the family or the deceased because the military has yet to release the name of the victim.

The newspaper generally does not publish names of someone suspected of a crime until the person has been charged.

The woman who contacted The News Tribune said the Army had given the family no information about the killing but that the victim's oldest child had called her after witnessing the attack.

"Nobody has informed me but my granddaughter," she said.

She said the family was concerned about the lack of public information about the death.

"I don't want my daughter to go quietly into the night," the woman said.

She said she was away from her Wisconsin home at the time of the slaying, and was contacted by her granddaughter Sunday afternoon.

The girl told her grandmother her father had stabbed her mother repeatedly about 3 a.m. Saturday while her siblings were in bed.

She said her father was in custody on the base and her mother's body was at the morgue of Madigan Army Medical Center.

The girl said she and her siblings were with Army officials on base, awaiting their grandmother's arrival.

The mother said her son-in-law had been stationed in South Korea since May and that his family had planned to join him there. She said he recently returned to JBLM but the extended family did not know why.

She said her daughter and grandchildren moved to JBLM in June 2011, after living in Huntington Beach, Calif., for about a year with a relative while the soldier was on an earlier deployment to Afghanistan.

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