THE BAFFLING CASE AROUND THE DEATH OF ENRIQUE ROMAN-MARTINEZ
By Michael Madrid
CONTENT WARNING: This story discusses graphic scenarios. Reader discretion is advised.Enrique Roman-Martinez enlisted in the Army at 17 years old as a human resources specialist at Fort Bragg. He was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and was awarded numerous medals for his dedication to the Army. Woefully, after an overnight camping trip on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Roman-Martinez would go missing only to be found days later on the shore beheaded.
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Who Is Enrique Roman-Martinez?Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez was originally from Chino, California, and passed at the young age of 21. He was a well-decorated soldier, having been awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Parachutist Badge. According to his sister, Griselda Martinez, during a CBS LA interview, her brother enlisted in the military because “all he wanted was to do good in his life.” He was last seen on May 22, 2020, during a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend with seven other soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The last people to see Roman-Martinez and report his disappearance were the other campers that accompanied him.
Fort Bragg Beheading CaseWhat happened the night and days leading up to the discovery of Roman-Martinez? Enrique Roman-Martinez and fellow soldiers all went camping by Cape Lookout National Seashore, where they planned on staying the night. During their time there, Roman-Martinez would somehow vanish. According to his fellow soldiers, they remember last seeing him at midnight the night he disappeared. The following day, they checked his tent, only to find his wallet, phone, and glasses still there from the night before. Once they realized he wasn’t there, they contacted the police and reported him missing. After he was reported missing, the local cops and soldiers from Fort Bragg got involved and attempted to find him or clues that could lead them to his disappearance, but nothing came of it. For nearly an entire week, there wasn’t a clue or piece of evidence that could point the investigators to Roman-Martinez. That was until his severed head washed ashore. Once investigators found his partial remains, a coroner examined them and concluded to Roman-Martinez’s family that the damage he received couldn’t have been done by a boat or shark attack. Once it was concluded by the coroner the damage wasn’t due to any mishaps, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled it a homicide investigation. As of now, the investigation has been labeled a cold case, but CID is continuing to look into the murder in hopes that new information emerges.
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Enrique Roman-Martinez SuspectsNo one has officially been charged for the Fort Bragg beheading, but investigators noticed discrepancies in the 911 call placed by the soldiers that reported Roman-Martinez missing. One of the main inconsistencies in the 911 call is the soldiers’ statement that they attempted to contact the park ranger during the afternoon they reported Enrique missing. Well, it turns out that the day they said Roman-Martinez went missing, they ran into a few park rangers and didn’t disclose that anyone had disappeared. Another inconsistency during the 911 call was that the group tried to convince the operator that Roman-Martinez was suicidal and had suicidal tendencies. According to Roman-Martinez’s family, that remark was untrue, and they remember him having no suicidal inclinations.
Enrique Roman-Martinez UpdateThe seven soldiers that accompanied Roman-Martinez on the night of his disappearance have been arrested on conspiracy and a few other unrelated charges. Court records gathered from the Fayetteville Observer delineate the soldiers have been charged with conspiracy and failure to obey direct orders related to traveling under a travel ban. In the record, it listed the names of Sgt. Samuel Moore, Pfc. Samad Landrum, Pvt. Annamarie Cochell, and Spcs. Juan Avila, Alex Becerra, Joshua Curry, and Benjamin Sibley. Additional charges of consumption of hallucinogenic drugs and false statements have also been added to the charges for Becerra, Cochell, and Landrum. Unfortunately, CID hasn’t gathered enough evidence to charge anyone with the beheading of Enrique Roman-Martinez. The Army continues to offer a $50,000 reward for anyone who has information about Roman-Martinez’s murder. Enrique Roman-Martinez was a brave and well-decorated paratrooper. His untimely demise was an act of senseless violence that he didn’t deserve to go through. His family deserves to know what happened to him that unfortunate night, and most of all, they deserve justice. If you have any information about the case of Enrique Roman-Martinez, it can be reported anonymously on the CID’s website, or you can contact Army CID Special Agents at
1 (910) 396-8777and the Fort Bragg Military Police Desk at
1 (910) 396-1179.
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