Army Investigating Death of Ft. Wainwright-Based Soldier

The Army is investigating the death of a Ft. Wainwright based soldier, trying to determine if it was murder or suicide.  First Stryker brigade Private Danny Chen of New York City was found dead in Afghanistan Oct. 3.   U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Christopher Grey says the 19-year-old Chen’s body was discovered at a forward operating base where he was stationed in Kandahar province.

Grey says the Army investigates all deaths as if they are homicides.

Private Chen’s parents told NBC news in New York they don’t believe their son took his own life. They say he was happy, but that the Army also informed them he had been racially taunted by fellow soldiers and once beaten by a group of six superior officers. The Army’s Grey would not comment on any harassment or abuse private Chen, a Chinese American, may have suffered.

Grey says the investigation is looking at both how Chen died, and the circumstance leading up to his death.  He could not say how long the inquiry will take.  Private Chen joined the Army last January and arrived at Ft. Wainwright in May.  He deployed to Afghanistan in August as a replacement in the First Stryker Brigade combat team.  Chens’ funeral was held today in New York.

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