Spc. Alex Becerra, who made the original 911 call from the camping group that included the deceased and six other soldiers, faces charges of conspiracy, three counts of disobeying a superior officer, failure to obey an order, two counts of making a false statement, and wrongful, use, possession or manufacturing of a controlled substance. His arraignment is scheduled to take place on Jan. 20th.
Becerra called 911 on May 23rd, 2020 to report Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez was missing at Cape Lookout National Seashore in the Southern Outer Banks. Roman-Martinez was last seen alive the day before, when he was on a camping trip with the seven other soldiers. His severed head washed ashore six days later.
He had been a human resources specialist assigned to Headquarters Company, 37th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. A spokesperson for the 82nd Airborne said Becerra’s charges are unrelated to the cause of Enrique Roman Martinez’s death.
Roman-Martinez’s family has questioned the statements Becerra made during the 911 call. Becerra said the group went to bed around midnight and woke up at 8:30 a.m. the next morning and searched for Roman-Martinez upon realizing he was missing. He told the dispatcher: “We might be afraid that he hurt himself. We’re really not sure.” When the dispatcher inquired about Roman-Martinez’s medical history Becerra said he wasn’t diagnosed but he had displayed suicidal tendencies. His sister said in May that this upset her because she maintains he did not.
The autopsy of Roman-Martinez’s partial remains revealed a “somewhat crescent shaped, incised wound, about ¾ of an inch deep” on his neck. The medical examiner wrote that because the rest of his body had not been recovered a definitive cause of death could not be established, but the findings in this case were most consistent with homicide.
Questions remain over the Army’s handling of the investigation as Enrique’s family believes the missing person report was taken seriously immediately.