Rep. Norma J. Torres, D-Calif., is calling on the Pentagon to make reforms to how it handles cold cases a year after Army Spc. The death of Enrique Román-Martínez was declared an unsolved case.
“The fact that the case of Private Román-Martínez remains unresolved is unacceptable, and I have previously demanded that the Pentagon’s inspector general conduct a full and independent examination of what happened to this case,” Torres said in a statement to Military. eat on monday.
The lawmaker’s comments come as the case of Roman-Martinez’s mysterious death has remained unsolved for more than two years. The soldier was one of eight who went on a Memorial Day 2020 camping trip last year on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and one of the group members reported that he went missing during the trip.
Roman-Martinez’s head eventually washed up on shore within a few miles of where he was last seen, and investigators marked his death a homicide. However, the investigation quickly failed and it was officially considered a cold case.
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Investigators have yet to determine how the soldier’s beheading occurred and no one has been charged in the case. One of the soldiers on the trip was later charged with conspiracy or drug-related misconduct for actions on the trip, and one has since been discharged from the Army.
Roman-Martinez’s family has since criticized how the military has handled the investigation, saying that army and FBI investigators have not responded during their search for leads.
“I don’t have anyone,” the soldier’s sister, Griselda Martinez, told Military.com. “For all this time I had no one on the team who really wanted to help me, who wanted to help my family, my mother.”
“At the end of the day, I think [investigators] they’re just done with it,” Martinez added, saying he believed they were “trying to wash their hands of it.”
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Torres has tried to lead an effort to reform military investigations in response, introducing to Congress the Enrique Román-Martínez Military Cold Cases Justice Act, which would direct the Secretary of Defense to reform the way the military handles cases without resolve and implement supervision mechanisms.
“Specialist Román Martínez and his family deserve justice for his murder, and it is outrageous that after two years of investigations we still do not have answers in his case,” Torres said.
The Army Criminal Investigation Division did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment, but a CID spokesperson told Military.com that the “investigation remains open and ongoing.”
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The spokesperson noted that there is also a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.