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Marine recruit dies on Parris Island, marking the fourth death on base in two years

Recruits of Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion watch a rappel demonstration Oct. 4, 2017, on Parris Island, S.C. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Jacob)

A recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island who died at the base Tuesday was a 21-year-old from Decatur, Georgia, officials said Wednesday.

Pfc. Noah Evans died Tuesday during a physical fitness test, officials said in a news release. Evans was assigned to Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment. Evans’ cause of death remains under investigation.

Officials did not provide additional details, including whether Evans had any prior medical conditions or what part of the test was being conducted when he died.

Previous deaths at base

This marks the fourth death at the base in two years.

In June 2021, Pfc. Dalton Beals, 19, of Pennsville, New Jersey, died during the last leg of marine recruit training, the Crucible. The exercise involves a 48-mile journey over 54 hours with 45 pounds of gear, 36 stations and problem-solving exercises with four to six hours of sleep and limited nourishment.

On the day Beals died, the temperature on the base was in the 90s. Despite policies in place to alter uniforms and gear when temperatures rise, Beals’ drill instructor, identified by MCRD Parris Island officials as Staff Sgt. Steven Smiley, instead intensified training, according to investigative report obtained by the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.

Beals’ fellow recruits described being discouraged from seeking out medical assistance and were mocked. Beals died of hyperthermia.

In November 2022, Smiley was charged with negligent homicide for Beals’ death. As of Wednesday, those charges are still pending.

In September 2021, another recruit, 21-year-old Pvt. Anthony Muñoz, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, died after “falling” from a balcony in an “apparent suicide,” MCRD Parris Island officials previously told the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.

Pfc. Brandon Barnish, 26, of Evans, Georgia, was found dead at the training depot on Sept. 29, 2021, according to the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.

Including Evans, there have been at least 10 deaths on Parris Island since 2000.

This story was originally published April 19, 2023, 7:25 PM.


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