The US Army announced last week that Private First Class Marissa Jo Gloria, 25, and Specialist Clay Welch, 20, were both found unresponsive in their barracks earlier this month.
Welch, a combat medic specialist with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, was found dead on March 22, while Gloria, a combat engineer assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division sustainment brigade, was found dead on March 21.
COVID-19 was ruled out as a potential cause behind their deaths, since neither soldier had shown any symptoms of the respiratory disease.
According to an update provided by the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) to Stars & Stripes, foul play - although not suspected - has not yet been discounted as a cause in either case.
“Initial investigation reveals these two deaths are not connected to each other and are not related to the COVID-19 virus. At this point in both of the investigations, foul play is not suspected, but we have not completely ruled it out while we conduct thorough investigations,” CID spokesperson Chris Grey said in an email to Stars & Stripes.
“I can also tell you there is no danger to the public or the Camp Humphreys community in regard to these deaths. No further information will be released at this time to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigations,” he added.
According to Gloria’s obituary, she entered active duty in January 2019.
“She loved the outdoors and camping, and was always in the mood for a good country song. Her laughter and smile was contagious, and her presence caring and sweet,” the obituary added.
Welch’s battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Armstrong, commented, “Clay’s death affects every member in our formation. We are all deeply saddened by the loss,” Stars & Stripes reported.