Special Forces soldier among 2 found dead in Fort Bragg training area; Army suspects foul play

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The U.S. Army has identified two men found dead in a training area at Fort Bragg, including a Special Forces soldier who was deployed multiple times to both Afghanistan and Iraq in his 19-year career.

Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, was found dead Wednesday afternoon with another man, Timothy Dumas, Army officials said. Dumas, 44, of Pinehurst, was an Army veteran who was previously stationed at the North Carolina military base. Pinehurst is about 30 miles west of Fort Bragg.

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The men’s deaths were not related to official training, authorities said. No suspected cause or manner of death has been released, but ABC 11 in Raleigh reported Friday afternoon that a defense official told the network foul play is suspected in the case.

No weapon was found at the scene, the news station reported.

“The loss of a soldier is always tragic,” Lt. Col. Justin Duvall, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said in a statement earlier Friday. “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.”

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Lavigne, who enlisted in 2001, graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group, Airborne, according to Army officials. He was later assigned to the Special Operations Command, though which he was deployed overseas several times.

According to Army Times, Lavigne was awarded two Bronze Stars.

The Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the deaths.

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