Heckuva job, Chimpy.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – The father of the first female soldier from Missouri to die in Iraq wants Congress to force the Army to reopen its investigation into her death.
John Johnson, father of LaVena Johnson, said yesterday that he met in April with Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as others.
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson was found dead July 19, 2005, in a small contractor’s tent in Balad, Iraq, after only eight weeks in the country. Army investigators and coroners ruled she had shot herself in the mouth with an M-16 rifle.
Johnson contends his daughter was attacked, raped and had her body dumped in the tent, where a fire was started in hopes of destroying her remains.
Johnson said he presented Skelton and others the names of nine other military women who were raped or murdered while in the service. He said he became aware of their stories as he investigated his daughter’s.
He said there’s a pattern and “whoever is behind this must have significant rank or prestige.”
He said color photographs, documents and autopsy reports he has obtained from Army investigators indicate his daughter was scratched, bruised and burned and that her genital area showed evidence of lye “to destroy DNA evidence.” An autopsy performed at Dover Air Force Base concluded that she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The St. Louis medical examiner reached the same conclusion after Johnson had his daughter’s body exhumed for a second autopsy.
The Pentagon reported in March that men and women in uniform reported 2,688 sexual assaults last year. That compares to 2,947 reported the year before and 2,400 in 2005.