Ten babies have mysteriously died at Fort Bragg Army base in North Carolina in the past four years, and now parents are starting to question the Army’s explanations for the unexplicable deaths. So far, the Army says there are no indications of foul play and has listed all of the deaths as unexplained or the result of sudden infant death syndrome. However, for parents like Pearline Scully, whose son Jaden Willis died at the age of 2.5 months in 2007, the Army’s answers aren’t enough.
The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission is conducting environmental tests on the base as part of their investigation, and are also focusing on the cases of three babies who all lived in the same housing unit at some point in time. According to the CPSC, that housing unit was built and is owned by a private military housing company.
Fort Bragg is one of the largest military complexes in the world. Furthermore, each year approximately 3,000 babies are born on the base. Thus, Army officials were not surprised about the ten infant deaths considering the size of the complex. However, when three infants associated with the same address died, it apparently “raised a red flag” for military officials–the housing unit is now vacant. For the grieving and frustrated parents, an answer couldn’t come soon enough. In fact, Scully and several other families hired lawyers to learn whether something inside the home or in the ground beneath could have caused the deaths. Moreover, Scully and and the other parents believe that Chinese drywall used in the construction of the homes could be to blame. Nevertheless, the company who took over construction of the units in 2002 as part of the Pentagon’s privatization program maintains that all of the homes at Fort Bragg have tested negative for Chinese drywall. The CPSC as well as several independent agencies launched a “full spectrum environmental investigation” in June, but don’t expect to have any answers for several months.