May 27, 2024

Texas soldier who ‘willfully’ disappeared in wife’s death is not a person of interest, Army says

A Texas soldier who disappeared for 11 days earlier this year – and was found one day after his wife’s death was announced – is not a person of interest, military officials said.

In a news release, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division cleared Spc. Craig Chamberlain, 23, in the death of Cam Chamberlain in May and said the cause and manner of her death would be released after an autopsy was completed.

The statement, issued Friday, said no additional details will be released because the investigation is active.

Cam Chamberlain.Courtesy of Jessica D’Lynn Pyles

In a text message Monday, Craig Chamberlain’s mother disputed Cam Chamberlain’s date of death released by the Army — May 25 — and said the Criminal Investigation Division had previously told her family it was May 23.

An Army spokesman was not immediately able to clarify the discrepancy. Fort Cavazos officials announced the death on May 25.

“I am glad that the truth is coming out and I know that there will be more truth to follow,” said Virginia Chamberlain in the text. “We don’t know why it took so long for this to come to light.”

She asked the Killeen Police Department to release the details of her daughter-in-law’s death so that Cam’s family and friends could have “closure.”

The department previously referred questions to the lead agency investigating her death, the Division of Criminal Investigation.

The Army’s announcement came one day after NBC News reported that close friends of Cam Chamberlain were frustrated in the weeks after her death because authorities have not released many details about her.

“I can’t even mourn her death like the family should, because it’s like she wasn’t there at all now,” said one friend, Shandy Eubank.

Efforts to reach Cam Chamberlain’s family were unsuccessful. Friends previously told her she was estranged from relatives.

Spc.  Craig Chamberlain
Spc. Craig Chamberlain.US Army

Craig Chamberlain, of Fort Cavazos’ 704th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, went missing on May 15 in what the Army described as a “willful” incident. The base has said it was found on May 26.

Army officials have declined to provide additional details about his status or the incident, which was the subject of an internal investigation. A spokesman for the base said the Army does not comment on administrative actions.

Craig Chamberlain’s mother previously said that a civilian search party found him in the Killeen area – near where Fort Cavazos is located – in “rough condition”. She declined to provide additional details, citing privacy, but described her path forward as a “hard journey” with “a lot of healing.”

Craig Chamberlain and Cam Chamberlain got married in October 2020.

He was assigned to a new post in South Korea last December, Army officials said, but for “unknown reasons” never traveled to the country.

In a Facebook message to a friend after Craig Chamberlain went missing, Cam Chamberlain said her husband lied to her about the assignment, and in an interview with a local newspaper she said military officials told her he stopped reporting to work in March — though she said he didn’t tell her about it.

In the days before her death, Cam Chamberlain told friends that her marriage had become “toxic” and that she was separating from her husband.

Eubank said her friend struggled with her husband and family in part because of her gender identity. Cam Chamberlain has publicly identified as a transgender woman.

Virginia Chamberlain previously rejected that claim, calling it “very, very inaccurate.”

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