A North Carolina newspaper received a letter from someone claiming to be the killer of a pregnant Army dentist found dead in a hotel bathtub last weekend.
The note writer takes responsibility "for the dead body that was found on Saturday, June 21 @11:30," but police are skeptical of the letter's credibility, according to The Fayetteville Observer.
Few details have emerged in what authorities have called the "suspicious" death of Army Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, who was seven months pregnant when her body was found decomposing in a motel room near Fort Bragg, N.C.
The North Carolina medical examiner's office is conducting Touma's autopsy, but the results could take up to 60 days to be ready.
The letter writer says he or she has murdered before.
"I confess, that I have killed many times before in several states," the person writes.
Various discrepancies have led police to be skeptical of the letter's claims — the note is dated "17 June," for instance, and Touma was found on June 21. Investigators reportedly asked the Observer not to publish it because it "would hinder the investigation and cause unnecessary panic."
The paper reported that it initially honored that request but then decided to release the note after hearing from an anonymous tipster that a symbol etched in the letter is identical to one scrawled in lipstick on the mirror in the victim's hotel room.
The symbol is a circle with a cross through it, the newspaper said, but detectives haven't confirmed its existence in the room and no mention is made of it in the initial police report.
"We wanted to be responsible stewards of the information, to weigh our obligation to inform the public with the possibility of the damage we could do," said Observer Executive Editor Brian Tolley in explaining the decision to publish the note.
On Friday, the Observer reported that Touma was engaged to another as-yet unidentified Army dentist who is stationed at Fort Bragg and believed to be the father of her unborn baby.
Spc. Breana Cooper told the newspaper that Touma had mentioned her engagement and showed her the diamond ring. The expectant mother was on her way to visit her fiancé when she died, Cooper said.
Touma's ex-husband El Sayed Touma has blasted the Army for failing to check on her before reporting her AWOL — absent without leave — when she didn't show up for a scheduled exercise.
Police have not identified any suspects, nor have they offered theories as to how Touma might have died.
Touma is the second pregnant service member to die under suspicious circumstances in North Carolina in recent months.
Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach was reported missing and later found dead near Camp Lejeune in January. A fellow Marine, Cpl. Cesar Laurean, has been charged in that case and is awaiting extradition from Mexico.
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans contributed to this report.