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June 26th, 2008
11:10 AM ET

Trying to get a story... When nobody's talking

This undated photo, supplied by the U.S. Army, shows Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, whose body was found Saturday morning, June 21, 2008, in a Fayetteville, N.C., motel room.

This undated photo, supplied by the U.S. Army, shows Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, whose body was found Saturday morning, June 21, 2008, in a Fayetteville, N.C., motel room.

Randi Kaye | BIO
360° Correspondent

Let me tell ya... it’s really hard to do a story when nobody is talking…

I took an early flight out of New York City to Fayetteville, North Carolina yesterday morning to dig on the report of a pregnant soldier from Fort Bragg who was found dead in a Fayetteville hotel room over the weekend. She was 7 months pregnant. Her body was found after someone noticed a bad odor coming from the hotel room.

After traveling for six hours (there are NO direct flights to Fayetteville) my producer and I first stopped at the local police department. We were politely handed a release with the same information they’d given us yesterday by phone and sent on our merry way...

Next, we headed to the hotel. After waiting about 15 minutes for the manager, who I’d already left a few phone messages for, he finally showed up. He was also very polite and again, not very helpful. He said he wasn’t allowed to tell us anything about the case or when Army Specialist Megan Touma checked in or visitors or anything at all! He said the police and the military have asked him to keep quiet. He was nice enough to let us shoot some exteriors of the hotel, including a shot of room 143 where she was found.

At this point, I was really beginning to wonder if we had a story to report. My senior producer was asking me if we did, I thought we did, but wasn’t sure even at 4:00pm what we had yet. Finally, we got lucky. The officials at Fort Bragg decided to hold a press conference. They spoke kindly of the soldier they’d lost but didn’t say a word about the investigation or cause of death. All we know is that police say it was “suspicious.”

Back at home base, we had folks working like mad to get us information and interviews. One producer in Atlanta came through with an email from one of the soldier’s friends from Germany where she served before Fort Bragg. Next she got some information from the soldier’s aunt, who refused to go on camera but provided good detail about the fact the soldier had a current boyfriend who may have fathered her unborn child.

In the world of news, these are good details, even if they’re not on camera. And then we landed an interview with an old neighbor of Megan Touma’s who said she wasn’t sure the soldier’s parents even knew she was pregnant. We took some video of her brother’s MySpace page with a tribute to her.. and there you have it.. a fabulous mystery – with all the tidbits you could ask for.

It may not have started off well, but in the end, I’m sure it will leave you wondering what really happened to Megan Touma.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Randi Kaye
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Are the police saying the death is "suspicious" because they found something to indicate it was or are they saying it because at this point they don't have a clue what happened? Since she was 7 months pregnant I wonder if there was some condition with her pregnancy that could have killed her. I'm glad you are there and digging for details; maybe we'll find out what actually happened. Its sad though – she had so much life in front of her plus the baby she was carrying. I feel for her family.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 26, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  2. Lisette Chicago, IL

    She sure is beautiful-–how sad

    June 26, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  3. Heather

    Randi,

    Maybe your incredible reputation as a decent hardworking journalist that looks out for all of us finally caught up with you. Maybe they are avoiding you for a reason. You are famous for putting Walmart in their place. Of course I think its their way of covering their own behind. They dont want to look bad, of course its a little late for that. There is a mystery worthy of AC360 to solve. Justice for this women her baby and the truth for her family and friends.

    June 26, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  4. Rebecca

    I live in Fayetteville, the other soldier died from blunt force trauma if I remember right... It is awful and the whole thing called "suspicious" by police just leaves too many what if's for everyone. This hotel is by the mall, you have to drive inside of the crosscreek mall area off the road to get to it. I just can't imagine not checking a room for four days!!! Come on, and the Army should have checked on her as well.
    I could have told you they wouldn't talk though, no one is going to talk and possibly mess up a case or leak details.

    June 26, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  5. Terri from Atlanta

    Hi Randi,
    This woman was pregnant by some boyfriend and told friends she was happy and looking forward to getting married (or so I heard). I also heard she moved to NC to be closer to this guy. Yet, he apparently did not know of her death, and did not call anyone.
    Where is he? I can't beleive the media hasn't found him yet, but don't be too hard on yourself. It will come out from somewhere.
    (her ex-husband says he is not the father, and I believe him).
    So where is the boyfriend????

    In the meantime, I have to tell you I was impressed about the information you got about the "pregnancy pact". Apparently, you promised one girl anonymity, and that got her to open up to you.
    I put much credibility on what you reported that she told you,
    so thanks for that information.

    June 26, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  6. Cathleen, OR

    Hi Randi,
    It is so aweful when lives are lost! My heart goes out to her family
    and friends! Please keep up on the great job you are doing; your
    diligence is admirabe and appreciated! Thank you!!!

    June 26, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  7. Sarah

    Randi....wow considering the fact that you had so much trouble getting the facts, last night's story was even more excellent. I feel sorry for this young woman and her family.

    June 26, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  8. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Randi,
    I smell a rat in this story.
    Why didn't the maids clean her room? Is there a government cover-up?
    You know there are so many PTSD soldiers out there that need treatment. They just don't fit into society so, they do strange things like rape and murder.
    Here in east Texas last week-end a soldier with PTSD robbed hotels until he got caught then he killed himself in front of the officers.
    There are so many stories like this where soldiers act out or live homeless under a bridge because they don't fit in.
    I will be watching this story unfold with great interest.
    It seems this administration has ruined the lives of many with no regard or respect for life but simply greed for oil.
    That is it, isn't it?
    Thanks Randi. I look forward to your report tonight!

    June 26, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  9. Tracey Anderson - Boston, MA

    Randi,

    This is suspicous. I blogged last night asking when did she check in, how lng was her stay supposed to be? Another blogger asked about security checks..she worked at a hotel and stated that a room with a do not disturb sign after two days warrants a safety check on the customer.

    Somthing is really dirty here.

    June 26, 2008 at 12:06 pm |
  10. GF

    I heard she was on tour overseas for more than a year so unless her boyfriend is a soldier in her same unit – how did she get pregnant?

    June 26, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  11. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    I am wondering what happened to her. It's just awful. What about the other pregnant soldier that was killed a while ago. Do we know how she died? Randi this is an interesting story, hope you eventually get some answers.

    June 26, 2008 at 11:27 am |
  12. Cindy

    Randi,
    Your report was great last night! Who knew that you had so much trouble getting anyone to talk! But it all worked out in the end it seems.

    I feel sorry for Megan's family. It must be hard not knowing why or how she died. I hope that they will tell more info soon. I am wondering myself what happened.

    Good luck in getting more people to talk to ya!

    Cindy..Ga.

    June 26, 2008 at 11:17 am |