Two paratroopers have been found dead in their barracks room at Fort Bragg Army Base – and investigators believe they were killed by illegal drugs.
Spc. Joshua Diamond, 35, of Plymouth, MA and Pfc. Matthew Disney, 20, of Aberdeen, MD were discovered unresponsive in their room in the North Carolina military installation on Friday.
Matthew was last seen alive on Thursday night, his mother Racheal Bowman said on Facebook, and was found dead on Friday.
Emergency responders declared the paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division dead that the scene, a news release from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command said.
It remains unclear if they had taken the same suspected drugs, with an investigation into their deaths ongoing.
Pfc. Matthew Disney, pictured with his sister Faith, was found dead at Fort Bragg Army base in North Carolina Friday, of a suspected drug overdose
‘At this point in the investigation we do have credible information that the Soldiers were involved with illicit drugs,’ Chris Grey, a spokesperson for the Army’s investigation command said in a statement.
No further information on what drugs the soldiers might have taken has been shared, although illegal drug manufacturers have recently started mixing fentanyl with other recreational substances, such as heroin or cocaine.
The synthetic painkiller is extremely powerful, and has caused a spate of accidental fatal overdoses across the US.
Paying tribute to her son, Matthew’s mom Racheal Bowman wrote: ‘I know everyone wants answers, no one more than I, and a lot of speculation is going on. Unfortunately, the only facts we have right now is that Matt was last seen alive around 11pm Thursday night and was located around 10pm Friday night.
‘I was told that he did not do anything to hurt himself and he was found on base at Ft Bragg. There is an investigation and it may take some time before we have any real answers.
Spc. Joshua Diamond was also found dead of a suspected drug overdose on Friday
I just ask that people respect Matt and his family as we grieve and figure out what to do next and wait, as we are, for the facts.
‘I know Matt is loved by many and it is so amazing to see that love pouring out, both here at home and from his family in the 82nd Airborne. I appreciate every single person who has called, messaged and stopped by.
‘His smile truly is infectious and he is the best person I know in this world. I have no idea what happens next and I feel nothing in this world will ever be the same again. But feeling all of the love people have for him is so comforting right now.”
Disney and Diamond both joined the Army in 2019, with Diamond arriving at Fort Bragg in 2019 and Disney the following year, Stripes.com reported.
Diamond served in combat during a 2020 deployment to Iraq and received several awards, including the Army Commendation Medal with Combat Device, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge, officials said.
Disney’s decorations included the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge.
More than 44 soldiers from Fort Bragg died across the US in 2020, with the base – which is home to multiple secretive elite units – said to be rife with illegal drug use
‘We mourn the passing of Matthew and Joshua. They remain part of our Family of Falcon Brigade Paratroopers,’ Col. Phillip J. Kiniery III said in a statement.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones and fellow Paratroopers during this difficult time,’ he added.
The potential drug overdose death comes a few weeks after a senior noncommissioned officer assigned to Fort Bragg and his son were arrested for trafficking more than two kilograms of cocaine, Armytimes.com reported.
An April report from Rolling Stone said that at least 44 soldiers from Fort Bragg died in the US during 2020, including several brutal homicides.
The report concluded there was a pattern of drug abuse at the base that has gone unaddressed by those in charge.
Fort Bragg is home to both U.S. Army Special Operations Command, or USASOC, which includes the Rangers and the Green Berets; and JSOC, as well as the far more secretive ‘black ops’ component of the US military.
JSOC – which stands for Joint Special Operations Command – controls most of the elite units in the military, including Navy SEAL Team 6, and the Army’s Delta Force.
Their missions – including the killing of ISIS boss Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi are cloaked in secrecy, and have led to claims that those elite units are effectively ‘a military within a military.’
That lack of oversight has been blamed for an alleged explosion in drug abuse among members of those units, with whistleblowers claiming their fellow troops had failed drugs tests after testing positive for cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.