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Investigation ongoing into recruit’s ‘apparent suicide,’ Parris Island officials say

A road sign in Parris Island, SC. (DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen)

The investigation is still ongoing for a Marine recruit who died on his first day of training on Parris Island after falling from a balcony.

Pvt. Anthony Muñoz, 21, of Lawrence Massachusetts, died on Sept. 7 in an “apparent suicide” on his first day of training, according to Marine Corps Recruit Station spokesperson Capt. Philip Kulczewski. Muñoz was found dead at 7:30 a.m. after falling from a balcony at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Beaufort County Coroner David Ott told the Island Packet at the time.

Muñoz was assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. Lima Company currently has a total of 437 recruits training, Kulczewski said. Muñoz was buried in his hometown at St. Mary Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Sept. 25, his obituary said.

Muñoz graduated from Lawrence High School in Massachusetts in 2018, Parris Island said in a statement released on Sept. 9. He and his friends called themselves the “golden dragons,” several of them wrote in a Facebook memorial post. One friend, and Muñoz’s roommate, said he will remember him mostly for his “great advice” and even the “stupid ones too.” They called him “little bit Italy,” a private joke while they played video games, another friend wrote.

Another recruit, Pfc. Dalton Beals, died in June from heat injuries when participating in the final Marine training exercise known as the “Crucible.” 911 calls obtained by the Island Packet at the time of Beals’ death show that help was called for at least two other recruits who were also suffering from heat exhaustion that day. The investigation into Beals’ death is also ongoing. Muñoz is at least the eighth trainee to die since 2000.

Both the Naval Criminal Investigation Service and Command Line of Duty Investigations are looking into Muñoz’s death, Kulczewski said. NCIS investigates any death or “remains found” on Parris Island, according to Kulczewski. Command Line of Duty investigates “all other actions, functions, and/or details concerning an incident or military-specific crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” Kulczewski said.

“The Marine Corps takes all investigations extremely seriously and strictly adheres to the process for both the good of the individual and the institution,” Kulczewski said.


(c) 2021 The Island Packet

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