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16-year-old found dead in Army barracks

FORT LEWIS, Wash. – One 16-year-old civilian girl was found dead and another was found unresponsive in a barracks on this Army base south of Tacoma, the Army said Monday.

In a statement issued about 36 hours after base emergency personnel responded to a 911 call early Sunday morning, Fort Lewis spokesman Joe Piek said a Madigan Army Medical Center doctor declared one girl dead at the scene. The second teen was taken to Madigan for emergency medical care and was reported in stable condition Monday.

There were no outward signs of physical trauma on either girl, Piek told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Monday night. He said Army doctors at Madigan were performing an autopsy on the dead girl but results might not be available for at least a week.

The Army was investigating what the girls were doing in the barracks and whether drugs or alcohol were involved, he said, adding the presence of the teen civilian girls “in the barracks at 3:30 a.m. is likely a violation of any of the units’ barracks visitation policies.”

The Fort Lewis Criminal Investigation Division was investigating both the circumstances and cause of death. The girls were not identified.

Piek said the Army would not be releasing the names of the girls since they were minors and civilians.

A Fort Lewis soldier who was “allegedly acquainted with the two girls” has been questioned, but no arrests had been made, Piek said.

The spokesman said it took the Army until Monday to release information on the case because it took place during a holiday weekend and gathering information took time.

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