2 Bodies Found at Fort Bragg Army Base Identified as Investigation Continues

Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, was one of the individuals whose bodies were discovered on the base
Fort Bragg Public Affairs

The investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time, according to a statement.

The two bodies found at one of the training sites at Fort Bragg in North Carolina last week have been identified, according to officials at Fort Bragg.

Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, and Army veteran Timothy Dumas, 44, were identified as the individuals whose bodies were discovered on the base, officials said. Lavigne was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Army Special Operations Command, according to a media release. Dumas, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, previously served at Fort Bragg.

“The loss of a Soldier is always tragic,” Lt. Col. Justin Duvall, Lavinge’s company commander, said in a statement. “Master Sgt. Lavigne dedicated himself to the Army for 19 years and deployed multiple times in the defense of our Nation. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.”

Army officials said in a statement that the deaths were not training-related.

The investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time, according to a statement.

Lavigne enlisted in the Army in 2001. In 2007, he graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was subsequently assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group with a follow on assignment to USASOC. He deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq while assigned to USASOC, authorities said. Lavigne’s awards and decorations include two Bronze Stars, according to a release.

Dumas served in the Army as a property accounting technician from November 1996 to March 2016, according to Hewitt. He deployed to Afghanistan four times, from March 2003 to June 2003, from April 2005 to August 2005, from April 2007 to November 2007 and from May 2008 to February 2009. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the release said.

In March 2018, Lavigne reportedly shot and killed a Green Beret during an altercation that was ruled justifiable homicide, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Army Times reported.

Sgt. 1st Class Mark Leshikar, 33, was killed by Lavigne at a residence in Fayetteville, North Carolina on March 21, 2018, according to a police report.

Leshikar served with the 19th Special Forces Group as a weapons sergeant, his sister, Nicole Rick told the Army Times. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2015 and in 2017, and he volunteered to deploy to Tajikistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Rick told the Military Times that her brother and Lavigne had been friends since 2012. The two men had young daughters who were best friends. The men reportedly had an altercation after coming home from a family vacation for her niece’s birthday, Rick said.  

“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.”

The base is home to the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps and Special Operations Command, as well as Army Forces Command, 82nd Airborne Division and the Army Reserve Command.

More than 31 soldiers assigned to the base have died this year, with nearly half of those soldiers dying by suicide, Stars & Stripes reported.

In August, a Fort Bragg army special forces colonel was acquitted of sexual assault charges after being accused by a woman with whom he had a relationship, the Army Times reported.

In December 2019, a Fort Bragg sergeant was convicted of federal charges that he conspired with foreign nationals to engage in fraudulent marriages with U.S. Army soldiers, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

Fort Bragg, located near Fayetteville, supports more than 50,000 service members and is one of the nation’s largest military complexes, covering more than 170,000 acres, 87 ranges and six drop zones, the Observer said.