Foul play suspected in deaths of sergeant and veteran at Fort Bragg

The bodies of Master Sgt. William Lavigne II, 37, and Timothy Dumas, 44, were found Wednesday

Fort Bragg is probing the deaths of an Army veteran and a sergeant who was investigated in the fatal shooting of a fellow soldier two years ago.

The bodies of the two men were discovered Wednesday in a remote area of the North Carolina military base where training is conducted, the Army said.

The dead soldier was identified as Master Sgt. William Lavigne II, 37, who was with Army Special Operations Command's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, according to offiicials.

The veteran was identified by local media as Timothy Dumas, 44, of Pinehurst, N.C.

Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, was one of two men found dead Dec. 2, in a training area on Fort Bragg, N.C., the Army said.

Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, was one of two men found dead Dec. 2, in a training area on Fort Bragg, N.C., the Army said. (U.S. Army)

Like Lavigne, Dumas had ties to the Special Forces community and Fort Bragg, according to reports.

Foul play is suspected in both deaths, Stars & Stripes reported Friday, citing local news outlets. The Army's Criminal Investigative Command is investigating.

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A defense official told The Washington Post that early signs suggest the men may have been engaged in criminal activity before their deaths. The Post quoted the official as being familiar with the incident.

The official said one of the bodies was found in a vehicle; the other was discovered nearby, the paper reported. 

Lavigne served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq as a Special Forces soldier, the Army said.

“The loss of a soldier is always tragic,” said Lt. Col. Justin Duvall, commander of HHC, Special Operations Command.

Two years ago, Lavigne shot and killed a Green Beret during an altercation that was ruled a justifiable homicide, Lt. Sean Swain, a spokesman for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office told Fox News Saturday.

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The shooting took place near Fort Bragg in a residence in Fayetteville, N.C., and the victim was Sgt. 1st Class Mark Leshikar, 33.

The Army Times reported that Leshikar served with the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Leshikar's sister, Nicole Rick, told the paper that her brother had been friends with Lavigne for years. She said Lavigne was a member of Delta Force at the time of the shooting.

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“William shot and killed my brother in front of my niece,” she said. “William had called me a month after my brother died to tell me his story, and he said my brother came at him with a screwdriver but there was not one found near my brother’s body or in the house.”