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Army soldier, 33, is charged with murdering his pregnant wife and injuring his unborn child


A soldier with the Army’s Fifth Special Forces Group is accused of killing his pregnant wife and injuring his unborn baby.

Sergeant First-Class Joseph Santiago, 33, has been charged with the murder of wife Meghan, 33, on September 27. 

It is believed Meghan suffered from a brain stem injury and was put on life support, an anonymous senior Army soldier told Stars and Stripes.

Incredibly, her unborn child was injured but survived.

The Army has not released how Meghan was injured at Fort Campbell in Kentucky or what injuries her unborn sustained. She was 32-weeks pregnant when she died. 

Joseph Santiago, 33, was formally charged with the murder of his wife Meghan, 33, and for the injuries their unborn child. He is being held at Grayson County Detention Center in Kentucky

Joseph Santiago, 33, was formally charged with the murder of his wife Meghan, 33, and for the injuries their unborn child. He is being held at Grayson County Detention Center in Kentucky 

Their two children (one pictured with Meghan) are in the temporary custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, the Army reported

Their two children (one pictured with Meghan) are in the temporary custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the Army reported 

She was taken off life support on Tuesday and had her organs have been donated, her family reported. 

Her death is under current investigation by the US Army.  

‘Meghan’s death is a tragedy,’ Colonel Brent Lindeman, commander of Fifth Special Forces Group (Airborne) said in a statement. ‘This tragic event has shaken our entire unit.’ 

‘We take all allegations of domestic violence seriously, and we will provide every resource to ensure a thorough investigation.’  

Santiago was taken into custody on September 28 and formally charged with her murder on Wednesday. He is being held at Grayson County Detention Center in Kentucky as the US Army Criminal Division investigates. 

Since her death, the couple’s two children have been temporarily placed in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the Army reported. It is unknown where the newborn is being held at. 

Santiago joined the US Army Reverse in September 2005, according to his LinkedIn, joining the Army as a recruiter in 2019. He is currently employed as a signal support systems specialist for the Fifth Special Forces Group. 

The Army did not release a motive for the murder.  

Domestic violence is an ongoing problem within the armed forces, not only for military wives, but those enlisted. 

Meghan (pictured with one of her children) is one of the many women who have faced domestic violence in the military. Military wives and women enlisted face increasing violence

Meghan (pictured with one of her children) is one of the many women who have faced domestic violence in the military. Military wives and women enlisted face increasing violence

Around 100,000 incidents of domestic abuse have been reported to the military since 2015, CBS reported. 

The Pentagon has recently announced it will be implementing a new plan to help combat sexual and domestic violence in the military. 

‘We have now created the way ahead, called the implementation road map, and Secretary [of Defense] Lloyd Austin has approved it in its entirety,’ Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said last month. 

The plan proposed changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well as the creation of the Office of the Special Victim Prosecutor, which will investigate sexual and domestic violence claims, according to CNN

The Pentagon will also be employing a full-time sexual assault response coordinator as well as prevention and response victim advocates, according to CNN. 

Hicks reported that the Department of Defense will have to create and employ an entirely new workforce to handle the job and it is estimated to be completed by 2027.

The Department of Defense did not clarify how sexual and domestic violence claims will be handled in the meantime.   



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