Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 12, 2014

Death of WNY solider is ruled accidental

By Michael Regan michael.regan@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — U.S. Army investigators said on Tuesday that the death of a Western New York soldier over the weekend at a Texas military base where he was stationed appears to have been accidental. 

Specialist Ian Patrick Morgan, 28, who was found at the bottom of a stairwell near his Fort Sam Houston barracks at 2 a.m. Sunday, was taken to the San Antonio Military Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.  

With early indication showing blunt force trauma to Morgan’s head and other injuries, suspicions were raised that the incident may have been a homicide. 

However, special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command now believe that Morgan’s death was the result of “an accident fall” after he returned from a party Saturday. 

“The initial findings were that it was an accident, it wasn’t a homicide,” said Col. Scott Bleichwehl, director of public affairs for U.S. Army North, in an interview Tuesday. “Those are the initial findings, but the investigation continues.” 

Those findings include the results of an autopsy, said Chris Grey, a spokesperson for the Army’s investigative department, in a statement released Tuesday.

“At this point in the investigation we do not suspect foul play and see no signs of foul play, although we have not completely ruled it out, in order to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” Grey said. 

Morgan, who was assigned to the 56th Signal Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, was a 2004 graduate of Kenmore East High School.

Educators there remember him as polite and well-liked. 

Military officials said a final determination on Morgan’s death will not be made “until a rigorous and detailed investigation is conducted and all physical and testimonial evidence is examined and all possible leads are exhausted,” according to a statement.