Two weeks after three children died at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in two separate incidents, no details are available about what happened to the children.
But Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, officials confirmed to Marine Corps Times that a parent in one of the families was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division and a parent in the second family was assigned to the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
A spokeswoman at the medical facility said officials there are aware “of the tragic passing of a dependent child of one of our military families,” but didn’t specify which branch of service.
The deaths occurred in two separate, unrelated incidents on April 16, according to Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Ace Padilla.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service is continuing its investigation into the deaths. As of Friday, no charges have been filed, said NCIS spokesman Jeff Houston.
He declined to comment further, “out of respect for the investigative process.”
Two of the children were reportedly sisters, ages 4 and 6, who died in their parents’ home in the Berkeley Manor housing area.
Information was not available about the cause of the deaths.
“The cause and manner of the three children that passed away at Camp Lejeune are pending a full and complete forensic evaluation,” said Air Force Tech Sgt. Robert Trujillo, spokesman for the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
By Department of Defense regulations, he said, only the next of kin are entitled to receive a copy of an autopsy report.
Padilla said there was no shooting involved and there is no threat to the community.
He said officials “offer our deepest condolences to the families of those affected.”
“Out of respect for the families and the investigative process, we are not providing additional information.”
Rep. Greg Murphy, R-North Carolina whose district includes Camp Lejeune, said he wants the families of the children to know that if they have any issues or needs to contact his office.
“Please let the families know, we’re ready to assist them in any way we can,” he said in an interview with Marine Corps Times. “We’ve also told the base if there’s anything we can do, to let us know.”
He said he takes issue with a recent headline indicating he was critical of the lack of information.
“I believe it’s sensitive enough, it’s an ongoing investigation,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is corrupt an investigation or start rumors.”
“I have confidence in the leadership of the base and NCIS to conduct a thorough investigation, and when the results come out, to be very transparent about what happened and how the investigation occurred. The facts of the case will come out and they will let folks know what’s going on,” he said.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.