Army reported Va. medic's death in Iraq as accidental, then self-inflicted, now murder
The U. S. Army has changed its story more than once about the death of a Fredericksburg medic in Iraq.
First reported as accidental, then self-inflicted, the death has turned into a murder investigation.
When Specialist Morganne McBeth died in Iraq July 2, the death was first listed as resulting from non-combat injuries.
The 19-year-old's parents told the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star that they were then told that their daughter accidentally stabbed herself.
Next they heard McBeth was accidentally stabbed by someone else.
And eventually commanders told them two other soldiers were involved and the death had been classified as murder.
The Army is not talking about the case.
The men who allegedly killed her are back in the United States, but they have still not been charged with her murder.
The army has told her father, Leonard McBeth, and her stepmother, Sylvia McBeth, the name of the two men believed responsible. But they were told not to release those names.
The McBeths are getting frustrated and say they don't know why they've been asked to conceal the identities of the two men who allegedly took their daughter's life.
"They know who these two individuals are, but they're protecting them for whatever reason," Sylvia McBeth said to ABC 7. "They haven't been charged. They haven't been arrested. Nothing."
McBeth was a paratrooper and combat medic in Iraq. She was a Health Care Specialist (Combat Medic) with Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
At the time of her death, a news release from the Army was full of praise for McBeth, with quotations from her superior officers.
"Morganne treated all of her patients with unsurpassed compassion, regardless of their injury or illness severity," said 1st Lt. Abraham Medina Jr. "Today, the 1BSTB Medical Platoon mourns the loss of a Paratrooper, combat medic, and a magnificent young lady. Most importantly, we are thankful to have had the opportunity to share life alongside of Morganne Marie McBeth."
"SPC Morganne McBeth had a positive impact on all the Paratroopers within the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion and will be dearly missed," said Lt. Col. Douglas Stitt, commander of 1st BSTB. "She was always quick with a smile and looked after her fellow Paratroopers with keen diligence and respect."
"Morganne's vivid smile and attitude were contagious," said Medina. "Regardless of how rough your day may have been, if Morganne entered the room you were going to smile. Her spunky character and selflessness will be remembered by all who were privileged enough to have met her."
McBeth joined the Army July 9, 2008 and entered basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. Upon completion of basic training, she attended Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. She arrived at Fort Bragg, N.C. February 25, 2009 where she was assigned to HHC, 1st BSTB and deployed to Iraq with the unit Aug. 17, 2009.
McBeth's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Basic Parachutist Badge.