Soldier, Army veteran found dead in Fort Bragg training area; investigation underway


FORT BRAGG, N.C. (NewsNation Now) — Officials Friday identified two men whose bodies were found in a Fort Bragg training area this week.

Their bodies were discovered Wednesday. Officials said their deaths were not related to official unit training. The cause of death for either man has not been released.

A news release identified one of the men as Army veteran Timothy Dumas, 44, of Pinehurst, North Carolina. Dumas previously served at Fort Bragg, but no further information on him was available.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command identified the second body as that of Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company. His hometown was not available.

“The loss of a Soldier is always tragic,” said Lt. Col. Justin Duvall, commander of HHC, U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “Master Sgt. Lavigne dedicated himself to the Army for 19 years and deployed multiple times in the defense of our Nation. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.”

Lavigne enlisted in the Army in 2001.

In 2007, he graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism while assigned to U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

Lavigne was awarded several medals and decorations including the Bronze Star Medal with V device; Bronze Star Medal (second award), and Meritorious Service Medal.

Special agents with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is looking into the deaths, Fort Bragg officials said.

Fort Bragg, covering nearly 172,000 acres, is one of the world’s largest military complexes. Located next to Fayetteville, North Carolina, it has approximately 57,000 military personnel, 11,000 civilian employees and 23,000 family members.

NewsNation affiliate WNCN and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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