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Investigation Into Marine Recruit's Fall From Building Inconclusive

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)

It's still not clear how a Marine Corps recruit came to fall from a one-story building just a day after arriving at boot camp, according to results of an investigation shared with Military.com.

The recruit, who has not been identified or described by officials at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, spent months in the hospital after the July 26 fall, and was finally released last week. A spokesman for the base, Capt. Adam Flores, said the recruit was administratively discharged Sept. 20 to coincide with his release from the hospital, and sent home.

But answers remain elusive for the Marine Corps. A command investigation into the incident was concluded Aug. 2, Flores said in a statement.

"The investigating officer determined that no personnel aboard the depot witnessed the recruit either jump or fall from the single-story building," he said.

Flores added that the recruit could not remember or recall to investigators how or why he had fallen off the building or the events preceding the fall.

"Thus, the investigating officer was unable to determine the specific cause of the recruit's fall from the building," he said.

The Marine Corps' finding that no witnesses observed the fall contradicts the account of a source close to the incident, who told Military.com there were witnesses to the incident, which happened in the late afternoon on a Wednesday. The recruit was observed jumping from the building and appeared to land on his head, the source said.

Reached for comment, the source stood by the account.

If the recruit did jump intentionally, it would be the third time in 16 months that a recruit did so at Parris Island, including one tragic completed suicide last year. Raheel Siddiqui, 20, died March 18, 2016 after jumping from the third floor of a barracks building after beginning training with 3rd Recruiting Training Battalion.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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