Pregnant Soldier's Death a Mystery

A medical examiner in Chapel Hill, N.C., has completed an autopsy of a pregnant soldier found dead under "suspicious" circumstances in a hotel bathtub, but authorities so far are not releasing any details.

The seven-months-pregnant body of Spc. Megan Touma, 23, a dental specialist from Cold Springs, Ky., who had just arrived at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, was discovered Saturday in a Fairfield Inn bathtub.

During the initial investigation, police said that it looked as if Touma had been dead for several days and that her death was "suspicious."

"She was left in the room for two days," Touma's ex-husband, El Sayed Touma, told WCSC-TV Thursday. "They didn't even bother to go check on her in the motel where she stayed."

He claimed the Army "said she was AWOL," but an Associated Press report indicated Touma was never classified as AWOL.

Moreover, the Army has launched an internal investigation to discover why the soldier was not declared AWOL after she was unaccounted for for more than 24 hours, as Army regulations dictate.

According to officials at Fort Bragg, Touma attended formations at the base on Thursday, June 12, had Friday off and then failed to return to base on Monday, June 16.

Living arrangements had been made for Touma at Fort Bragg's barracks, but she elected to stay at the nearby Fairfield Inn.

Her body was found when other hotel customers complained of an odor.

Touma had been in the country less than two weeks after serving three years with the army in Germany.

At a press conference Thursday, 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.

Though Funaro did not have any information about possible guests who may have been staying with Touma at the motel, Fouma's ex-husband believed she was seeing someone and may have even been engaged, according to a CNN report.

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, until April when he was arrested by Mexican authorities 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.

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