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Report: Fort Bragg didn't keep track of soldier

A pregnant soldier's unit at Fort Bragg didn't follow procedures for keeping track of newly arrived personnel, the Army said in a report Thursday on the disappearance of the woman, whose body was found this summer at an off-base motel.

The report also said one noncommissioned officer had been reprimanded for lying during the investigation.

But the report said the oversights and mistakes would not have prevented the death of Spc. Megan Touma, 23, of Cold Spring, Ky.

Two other sergeants were reprimanded, one for not getting Touma's phone number the day she reported to the post and the other for not telling the company commander and senior sergeant he'd heard there might be a problem regarding the woman.

No commissioned officers were reprimanded, said Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum.

“Accountability of all of our soldiers falls to the noncommissioned officer chain,” McCollum said.

The sergeant who lied “made it appear he followed all the procedures,” he added.

Touma was a dental specialist who arrived June 12 at Fort Bragg after traveling from a base in Germany. Her body was found June 21 in a motel room bathtub not far from the North Carolina base.

The report said the noncommissioned officer in charge of Touma's unit, the 19th Replacement Co., failed to follow “a number of redundant checks and balances.”

Sgt. Edgar Patino, 27, of Hope Mills, was the father of Touma's unborn baby and has been charged with first-degree murder. Investigators said Touma and the married Patino began a relationship while both were stationed in Germany.

Police said they believe the pair met in a Fayetteville motel room the day after she arrived at Fort Bragg. Records showed that Touma had days off after she arrived at the post and missed a formation at the replacement unit June 16, and had signed out of a room on post but didn't leave a contact phone number.

The report said Touma was responsible for keeping her chain of command informed of her location and failed to present her file containing emergency contact information.

“The sequence of events and subsequent errors on the side of 19th Replacement could not have prevented her death, but it would have been alerted to her issue much sooner,” the report said.

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