N.C. Police Investigate Second Pregnant Death

The death of 23-year-old pregnant soldier Megan Touma, whose body was discovered Saturday in a North Carolina hotel room, has been called "suspicious" by police leading the investigation.

She is the second pregnant military member to die in North Carolina this year.

Touma, a dental specialist from Cold Springs, Ky., recently arrived in the United States after spending three years in Germany at an Army dental clinic. She was staying in the motel until proper military housing was found for her for her assignment with the 19th Replacement Company at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Police found Touma's body Saturday and reported that it appeared she had been dead for several days.

Police officer and tarp
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At an afternoon press conference, Fort Bragg spokeswoman Maj. Angela Funaro offered the military's sympathies, but few details about what may have happened to Touma before her death. Funaro deferred all questions about the investigation to the Fayetteville Police Department.

"It's always sad when you lose a soldier, and on top of that, she was seven months pregnant," Funaro said. "It's troubling. We want to make sure we and her family find out all the answers we can."

Touma was divorced in 2007 and was not currently married, Funaro said, adding that she had not found any record of complaints filed by Touma in previous military assignments. "She only got here on the 12th of June, so it's hard to imagine that she had any here," Funaro added.

Funaro also did not have any information about possible guests who may have been staying with Touma at the motel.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the cause of Touma's death.

Second Pregnant Death

Touma is the second pregnant military member to die in North Carolina this year.

In January, the charred remains of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who was eight months pregnant, were found in the backyard of Cpl. Cesar Laurean's home near Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Laurean fled the country, and detectives said he left behind a note for his wife in which he denied killing Lauterbach, but admitted to burying her remains.

He managed to avoid capture for several months by living a simple life in San Juan de la Vina, Mexico, before being captured by Mexican authorities in April after being spotted walking on a village street. According to witnesses, he did not put up a fight.

Laurean is being held in a Mexico City prison, and North Carolina officials are working through the usual channels to extradite him, according to the Associated Press.

Because of Mexico's strict policy against extradition of anyone likely to face the death penalty, Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson agreed not to seek the death penalty against Laurean in and effort to gain cooperation of Mexican authorities, according to the AP.

In April, Laurean spoke briefly with the AP.

"You know my name. You know who I am," he said. When asked if he wanted to say anything, Laurean answered, "Proof," but did not elaborate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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