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Congresswoman Awaits Written Response about Marine Recruit's Death

Marine recruits at Parris Island. An incident there on March 18 that involved the death of a recruit is being investigated by NCIS. (Getty Images)
Marine recruits at Parris Island. An incident there on March 18 that involved the death of a recruit is being investigated by NCIS. (Getty Images)

A U.S. congresswoman says she is still awaiting a written response from the Marine Corps to a letter she sent over two weeks ago inquiring about the investigation into the death of a Parris Island recruit.

Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, said in a statement released Thursday afternoon that she continues "to speak with the ... Marine Corps" to ensure a thorough investigation of Marine recruit Raheel Siddiqui's death.

Siddiqui, a Taylor, Mich., native, died March 18, just 11 days after arriving at Parris Island. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating his death. According to NICS, he died after an almost 40-foot fall during recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

NCIS spokesperson Ed Buice said Friday morning that there was no update on either the time-frame or details of the investigation, and reiterated that foul play is not suspected. In March, Siddiqui's family shared a casualty report form that indicates he jumped to his death. Earlier in April an attorney working with the family said they're skeptical of the information they've received from officials.

Dingell wrote to Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, on April 4 and asked him to reply by April 18. In that letter she asked for a timeline of the investigation and expressed concerned that hazing could have been involved in Siddiqui's death.

"While this investigation proceeds, it is very important to me and our community that everyone understand that by all accounts this was an intelligent, loyal, patriotic young Muslim man — and class valedictorian — who loved his country, and I have been deeply touched at the overwhelming number of people who have reached out to me who knew him, attended school with him, or worked with him," Dingell wrote Thursday.

"We remain fully engaged with the Marine Corps, NCIS and all responsible parties to ensure a prompt and unbiased investigation that will provide Private Siddiqui's family and our community the answers they deserve."

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