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Military & Veterans' Issues

Army Looking For Information In Murder Of San Antonio Soldier

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U.S. Army photo
Staff Sgt. Jessica Mitchell, a drill instructor at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, was shot and killed in her car east of I-10 near Vance Jackson Rd. over New Year's.

Army officials are investigating the deaths of two Texas soldiers who passed away over New Year's. They add to a string of mysterious disappearances and deaths at or near Army posts in the state.

This story has been updated. It was originally published on Jan. 3, 2020, at 3:02 p.m.

Staff sergeant Jessica Mitchell, a drill instructor at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, died in the early morning hours of New Year's Day after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds. Off-base police were dispatched to the eastbound side of I-10, where they found Mitchell’s car with several bullet holes in the driver’s side.

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Staff Sergeant Jessica Mitchell, a 68E Dental Specialist based at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

Mitchell, a dental Specialist, had been assigned to the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence since August 2019. She was on holiday leave at the time of her death.

The U.S Army Criminal Investigation Command is seeking the public’s help and offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Mitchell's murder.

Mitchell was last seen at the 4th Quarter Sports Bar located at 8779 Wurzbach, San Antonio, Texas, at approximately 2 a.m., Jan 1, 2021, and was shot to death in her vehicle on Interstate 10 near Vance Jackson Road, San Antonio, Texas, at about 2:15 a.m. She was driving eastbound in her 2019 White Dodge Charger.

“We are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding SSgt. Mitchell’s senseless murder and are asking the public to come forward if they have any information on this case, regardless of how insignificant it may seem,” said Chris Grey, spokesman for Army CID.

Those with information can contact the Fort Sam Houston CID Office at 210-221-1628 or contact contact the SAPD Homicide Department.. People can also submit information anonymously via the Army CID website.

A Second Suspicious Death Over New Year's in El Paso

Pfc. Asia Graham, a nineteen year-old human resource specialist, was found unresponsive in her barracks room at Fort Bliss on New Year’s Eve.

She was later pronounced dead by emergency services personnel on post. Graham, a North Carolina native, served with the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade. No cause of death has been released yet, but the Army Criminal Investigation Command says foul play is not suspected.

Graham’s family told El Paso TV station KTSM that Graham had reported a sexual assault and was getting outside therapy. They say the Army didn’t do enough to help her.

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Pfc. Asia M. Graham

In a statement from Fort Bliss, officials said Graham made an initial report of an alleged sexual assault on June 1:

"At the time, Pfc. Graham alleged a fellow Pfc. stationed at Fort Bliss sexually assaulted her in December of 2019. As with all allegations of sexual assault, Army Criminal Investigative Command investigated the matter. Charges were preferred against the alleged offender on October 22, 2020, which includes one specification of sexual assault pertaining to Pfc. Graham. Those charges are pending adjudication."

The Army finished investigating Graham's sexual assault claims about a month before she died. Army officials said on Jan. 8 that another private first class soldier would be arraigned and tried for the sexual assault, though they didn't release the suspect's name.

Maj. Gen. Sean Bernabe, the 1st Armored Division commander, personally ordered a general court martial and said in a statement that he is committed to maintaining the impartiality of the military justice system.

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