06-26-2010, 06:51 PM #16
Denny, Army Regulation 638-2 is specific to the belongings of deceased soldiers.
At that point in time Patrick had not been given the official status of deceased?
I'm not sure of the correct AR you are looking for and my Husband is still pondering it. When he or I find it we will bring it here for you.
Here is a link that outlines the CDR's (Commander of the unit) responsibilities in respect to the personal belongings of a soldier that is considered AWOL (which if I'm not mistaken Patrick would have been given that status after 24 hours of no contact with his chain of command).
...As soon as a soldier is listed as AWOL, you will select an officer, warrant officer, or noncommissioned officer (pay grades E5 through E9) to inventory all of the soldier's property under your control. The inventory officer will list the items and quantities of personal military clothing on DA Form 3078. He will then have a witness and the unit commander verify and initial the form. The inventory officer will place the original form with the items in the duffel bag or other container and keep three copies of the form in the unit suspense file. As soon as he completes the inventory, the inventory officer will place the clothing in the unit supply room for safekeeping. If the soldier returns to military control before being dropped from the rolls, his personal military clothing will be returned to him. (See AR 700–84, paragraph 12–12.) If the soldier is dropped from the rolls, the clothing is turned in through supply channels. If the soldier returns to military control after the his property is disposed of, military clothing will be reissued at his expense. If the soldier returns to military control at another installation before being dropped from the rolls, his clothes will be shipped to him at his expense. (See AR 700–84, paragraph 12–13.)
Personal civilian clothing and property of an AWOL soldier will be inventoried on plain bond paper as discussed above, and the inventory will be filed with DA Form 3078. The unit will retain the property until the soldier returns or drops from the rolls. Cash left behind will be deposited with the finance office, and the receipt will be placed in the soldier's DFR packet. If the soldier is dropped from the rolls, you or a summary court officer (in CONUS) or the unit commander (in OCONUS) will ship his personal civilian property. (See DA Pamphlet 600-8, paragraph 9-6.)...
There are other avenues to persue, for his Mother. Once you respond I'll be happy to outline those and hopefully they will give her some help.
Last edited by Kat; 06-26-2010 at 07:09 PM.
06-26-2010, 07:17 PM #17
FWIW, it is my understanding that the Civilian LE would be entirely responsible for this investigation. 1. The Soldier was off post prior to being murdered (outlined above by witnesses in Denny's summary of the case). 2. The Soldier was found deceased off post. 3. The crime more than likely took place off post.
The civilian LE needs a fire lit under their butt IMHO.
06-27-2010, 05:11 AM #18
Actually, I have quite a few relatives in the North Country. If you don't mind, I'll give them your email address but can't guarantee they'll answer. People from that area are rather a suspicious lot.
06-27-2010, 05:50 AM #19Registered User
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- Jun 2010
Please forgive me, I am new to this thread and have a lot of questions.
According to the army rules, does this mean that if Patrick had disappeared, and he'd moved in with his mother at that point, that the army would have marched into her house and confiscated all of his belongings?
If they had tried to, and she'd claimed he was missing, not AWOL, would they have stopped? My reasoning, of course, is that it seems very convenient that the roomate reported him as not 'going to be' in formation. And, the roommate obviously allowed them to confiscate his belongings without clarifying that he had not expressed an intent to go AWOL.
I know that it cannot be rare that someone in the army goes on a bender, or gets stuck out of town or has their car break down. Can just anyone text an officer andn tell them that they are not going to show up, and then their possessions can be immediately confiscated?
Please. That cannot be how things work.
06-27-2010, 06:18 AM #20Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
My rambling thoughts-
Patrick was alive on the 14th when he moved into the apartment. He disappears the next evening. The only change in circumstances was that he moved in with the new roommate.
He already has money to go shopping with new roommate, however, he goes to the ATM to get $100-300 more out, according to roommate. Are there ATM docs for that, and timestamp for that amount? Is it possible he could have spent $100-300 in that bar in one night? Was any money found with his ID, ATM card? How in the world did the roommate know how much he withdrew? Even among friends, it's customary and polite not to watch while people use the ATM.
What were the sleeping arrangements at the apartment? Even if the roommate was used to miraculously waking at 1am every morning to check his email for some reason, why would he have even checked to see if Patrick was there? Why would it have been any of his business to report Patrick as 'not planning to be' at formation later that morning, and how could he have known that? Why did he not report Patrick as missing at that time? Patrick had a cell phone. Why did the roommate not call him at any time that evening, at 1am when he realized he was not home, or at 5am before he essentially reported him AWOL? If Patrick was planning to meet with his father the next day, and had his bags packed, why did neither the roommate or the officer he texted contact the father, especially when they confiscated his packed bags?
When was the mother finally contacted, and by whom?
How far was the apartment from the barracks he'd just moved from?
How common is it really for army personnel in a small town to go to a gay bar if they are straight? Was the roommate, the school friend or the school friend's roommate (who also supposedly was in the army) gay? My personal experience with army people is they aren't very tolerant of gay people, so it just seems weird to have that many in/near a gay bar.
Have the parents received all of Patrick's belongings, and were there proper forms accounting for all of the items? Was there anything missing?
Who was the person who argued with Patrick that night? As far as the supposed ex-girlfriend of Patrick's, whose boyfriend saw him that night... what time did he get home? Was anyone else missing/sick from formation that morning?
What have Patrick's parents been doing to draw attention to this case, and force the military and LE to come clean on what looks badly to be a cover-up?
I am sure I will have many more questions. Ignore any that annoy you or that you've already answered. If I were Patrick's parents I would be screaming about this from the top of a mountain- there is OBVIOUSLY something very wrong/corrupt about this case.
I feel very badly for the parents.
06-27-2010, 08:08 AM #21
glory, i have many of the same questions. not only why not call father, why did father/mother not go by if he went mia when they had a trip planned. i mean he didnt even have a license so where did they think he went. in one of the links i posted it said the poi would not make a written statement and that they found out he was with patrick that day later. im thining this could be whoever gave him that ride home. they aparently found his wallet etc, i think, everything but stuff he bought at the mall. which would make even more sense if poi is whoever picked him up to give a lift. roomate was back soon after tanning and said patrick was not there. maybe the soldier offers to give him a lift and they go start drinking thinking, he never goes home. maybe he owed this soldier money, and he made the withdrawal, all he had, but owed the guy more. after the guy killed him he took the games cause he considered he was owed.
as far as the gay angle, that was my first thought as well. after looking around it seems this place is a commong hang out for the soldiers at fort drum, so i dont think that is it.
kinda weird 2 friends visiting from out of town the same day. must have been 2 since the one at the bar exchange numbers with him then. unless...
1)the friend visiting is only 1 person, and he was able to talk to patrick early using someone elses phone. like the person who picked him up to give a lift. maybe they really had plans, and just happened to pass patrick on the way to his house. and that is the soldier the visiting friend was with.
2)roommate made up story, but said friend visiting because he somehow knew patrick was with this guy at night.
i am very much leaning towards poi is whoever picked patrick up.
06-27-2010, 11:12 AM #22Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2010
- Las Vegas, Nevada
Answers to some of your questions
Let me begin by thanking all of you for your input. You make some great points and raise many valid questions.
Trident - Please provide my email address to anyone you think may be able to help. I'm picking up information that might lead to a motive, but I'm not totally comfortable with the sources. Perhaps if I can get some some input from uninvolved locals it will help to confirm or refute certain allegations and rumors. Thanks.
glorybug - Any suggestions or advice you have that will help Judy Rust to move this investigation forward will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for offering.
Patrick's mother and father - Judy and Rodney Rust - have been divorced for years and don't deal with each other. I placed calls to Rodney and his years-long girlfriend asking them to contact me regarding Patrick's disappearance and death. They failed to respond to me directly. However, I've heard from another source that they have no intention of cooperating in my inquiry.
The Army's investigation is closed. The two civilian agencies that were involved are listing the case as open but inactive. That status provides a reason to deny Judy's requests for the release of information.
One of the Crime Wire consultant lawyers reviewed Army Regulation 638-2 (beginning on page 65) that applies to the personal effects of deceased or missing soldiers (see below). In that person's opinion, this is the regulation that applies regarding the clearing of Patrick's personal effects from the apartment and that when the Ssgt entered off-base privately owned civilian housing it clearly violated that regulation. Keep in mind that this inventory/removal took place within 48 to 72 hours after Patrick disappeared. It was done before civilian law enforcement was involved and deprived them of the opportunity to treat the apartment as a possible crime scene. I have spoken with multiple sources familiar with military procedures. None of them can provide a logical explanation for the Ssgt's action and the speed with which he did it.
17–3. Statutory jurisdiction
The Army’s authority to collect the PE of deceased or missing persons is restricted by 10 USC 4712 to PE found “in camp or quarters.” In camp and quarters are those places under the Army’s control such as Army installations, Army leased buildings, cantonment areas, and unit areas in theaters of operations. Army officials and representatives are not authorized or permitted to collect or secure PE not found “in camp or quarters.” Accordingly, the status of the place where the PE are located must be determined before taking any action relating to the PE.
The apartment was a one bedroom. It is assumed the living room was being used as Patrick's bedroom.
As far as I know, neither the roommate or Ssgt's phone records or computers were examined. Neither was polygraphed in spite of what should have been obvious signs of deception in their written statements.
Patrick's bank accounts were with a military credit union and they refuse to give Judy any information regarding account activity. If civilian law enforcement obtained that data, they aren't saying.
I've come across no information so far that Patrick's new roomie was gay. The former classmate he met that night at Clueless was gay and was living with a gay soldier in a homosexual relationship. The classmate and his friend were two of the last people reported to have seen Patrick alive.
Patrick's belongings were released to his father. Due to the lack of a relationship between him and Judy, additional details are hard to come by.
No one seems to know who Patrick allegedly argued with. The information about an ex-girlfriend whose then-current boyfriend may have been with Patrick the night he went missing came in on a tip line Judy opened this April. The sheriff's detective assigned to the case was told about the call. He promised to respond to get the tipster's contact info, but never did. So this potentially important lead has not been followed up on.
Theory & Speculation
Please treat the following as what it is, unsubstantiated theory and speculation.
I have received information that there is a large gay community including both civilian and military personnel in Watertown. And illegal drugs, particularly cocaine, are a big business. These two things aren't mutually exclusive.
The Crime Wire statement analyst reviewed the written statements of the roommate and Ssgt. He concluded that they were both deceptive when asked about cocaine and would not have passed a polygraph had one been administered. He believes that whatever happened to Patrick involved cocaine and money. And these two individuals were directly involved or have knowledge of the why and who.
If true, it might provide the reason for the Ssgt and the roommate to go through and remove Patrick's personal effects so quickly and before civilian law enforcement was brought in.
Again, this is only speculation at this point. But it is food for thought.Denny Griffin
06-27-2010, 05:29 PM #23
It is not uncommon whatsoever to see a chain of command enter a soldier's dwelling off post and secure his/her belongings once they are considered AWOL. It takes a minimum of 24 hours away from your duty position and away from contact with your soldiers chain of command (telephone--etc.).
They are doing it to protect the soldier's belongings for him/her and I posted above the outline for how the actions must be taken.
If it is illegal then my own Husband has broken the law many times over by securing AWOL soldier's belongings early in his career by order and later by ordering them secured. JMHO.
I will go by what the lawyer at crimesider said but honestly I think a Lawyer familiar with JAG should be consulted.
The problem with interpreting this AR is this---when it refers to a missing soldier. That would be referring the an Official Military Status of missing. Not missing in how you and I define it. That was my point above.
Prayers for Patrick's Mother.
06-27-2010, 06:59 PM #24Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
Thank you for clarifying that. It was the impression I'd gotten by reading wht you posted.
So, correct me if I am wrong-
Patrick was essentially reported as being AWOL by his roommate, by his choice of calling to say he 'would not be at formation' rather than calling and reporting him missing? That seems odd, and kind of convenient for the roommate- if he was involved in his disappearance.
If Patrick last had contact with his chain of command at approx. 5pm on the 15th, that would mean that by 5pm on the 16th they could be confiscating his belongings? That would also mean the roommate would have to be there, directing them as to what items were his and what were Patricks? That is REALLY suspicious. At no time did he step in and say- he's not AWOL, he's 'missing'? The only reason not to say that would be if he knew Patrick was laying in a field, since Patrick was obviously not AWOL if his packed bag was still in the apartment.
It is not likely that Patrick took the new items he bought to a bar. They were likely left in the apartment. If they did not show up later in his possessions, either the roommate took them or the people packing his things did.
It makes no sense that the roommate would know how much money Patrick withdrew unless there was a plan to spend that money- drugs would make sense. You don't need $300 to go to a bar. Any knowlege of Patrick or the roommate being in trouble for drugs before?
Has the mom asked anyone in politics (like the governor) in her area to look into the matter? With no cooperation locally or militarily, that's the only way I can think of off the top of my head to put pressure on this one.
I'll have to think some more.
06-27-2010, 07:36 PM #25
I've been following this thread but haven't added anything because you all seem to pretty well have it covered. The only thing that may help is:
Isn't his mom his next of kin?
IF she is, then she would be the one who would receive all of his belongings, everything.
This should include any monies left etc.
As she's the next of kin, I would think that whoever he banked with, even if it was military, they would be obligated to provide any records she requested. I believe this could also possibly be true for his cell phone?
I could be wrong on that, but she may want to check on it with legal counsel.
06-27-2010, 08:15 PM #26
How extensively have the former classmate and his roommate been investigated? They were the last ones to see Patrick alive.
When I read the original post a few minutes ago, I scrolled down too quickly and skipped a paragraph. So, I read this first:
While at the bar Patrick met a classmate from his school days. This man was in the company of his roommate, another Fort Drum soldier. According to witness statements Patrick and his former classmate engaged in lengthy conversation about their school days. As time passed Patrick obtained his old acquaintance’s phone number so they could keep in contact and hook up again in the future
The next reported sighting of Patrick takes place at around 9:30 when he was observed in a bar called Clueless located at 545 Arsenal Street. Clueless is known as a gay and lesbian bar; but straights are welcome as well. There is no indication that Patrick was gay; and according to all available information he had never been in the establishment before.
I know Patrick's roommates actions are hinky, and packing up his belongings so quickly is even hinkier, even if legal. If there was something in the apartment that should not have been there (drugs), though, it makes sense that once the roommate sensed something was awry, he would want Patrick's things out of there before an investigation started. In other words, his suspicious behavior might have had nothing to do with Patrick's disappearance. Still, that text message is hard to explain.
I don't know, but I'd take a second look at the former classmate and his friend. Last ones to see him alive. Last phone calls placed by Patrick were to the classmate's phone. Hmm...Why did Patrick call him back after he left the voice message? Patrick was drunk; maybe he wanted to party some more or just hang out and talk a little longer. Did he hang up because just after he dialed the former classmate happened to walk around the corner?__________________________________
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06-27-2010, 08:22 PM #27
1. Patricks' roommate called his SSG to inform him that Patrick would not be at the 7:30 AM formation. The chain of command, ( Leadership team including the CDR and 1SGT) would have noted that he was indeed not at formation and then they are bound by regs to start the process of declaring Patrick AWOL at 24 hours of no contact with Patrick himself. Patrick is not officially AWOL until he was absent from his duty for 24 hours, that includes verbal contact. If they had talked to Patrick on the phone they could have used a gray area within the rules and regs to hold off on processing him as AWOL. To process Patrick as missing status, it would have had to be that he went missing in a combat environment. (understand?) There are clear distinctions on how the Miltary must process a soldier given the circumstances.
About AWOL. We are talking about Official Military Status Glory. Patrick was here in the States. He was not overseas when he went missing. The military would have had no jurisdiction in the town that Patrick resided and his murder took place. At the time that Patrick did not show up for formation and 24 hours after they had no contact with Patrick it was their duty (punishable by reg if they didn't) to process him as AWOL.
Included in the AR that I referenced which is for the "absentee baggage" of a soldier of AWOL status within CONUS (Continental United States). That means someone appointed by his Chain of Command (his leadership team) which appears to have been the SSG (which could have been Patrick's squad leader I don't know) would have had to go to the apartment and not only secure any personal belongings that Patrick had at that apartment but also the military issue that he was given. At that point in time if procedures (conducted inventory, had the witnesses) were followed then his things (military and personal) were taken to the unit supply room and secured.
However, once Patrick was declared deceased (his body found) his status would have changed within the Military system and those belongings could be requested and sent to his DESIGNATED next of kin.
Again a military term. Patrick was the one who had to fill out a DD Form 93. (Record of Emergency Data) He is the one who designated his next of kin.
Who did Patrick have on his DD Form 93? That's important.
Glory, thank you so much for asking these questions. And your input at the bottom of you post!
FWIW, I am focused on Patrick's roommate. IMHO, he knows something even if he is not directly involved in Patrick's murder.
About Patrick's Mother and her access to his accounts that are held in a Credit Union. The fact that it's a Military Credit Union is beside the point in the matter of which laws govern the banking industry. What I'm trying to say is just because it has the name Military---the Military doesn't own credit unions that I"m aware of---it's more than likely a civilian bank with a name like "Pentagon Credit Union" or "Fort Hood Credit Union" as examples. (we bank at one of those I listed for reference).
Does Patrick's mother have an Active Power of Attn that lists this accnt? If so, she should be able to access the records.
Did Patrick have a will? Since he deployed to a combat arena from Fort Drum, and the will hasn't been located---his last unit would have had a copy but now we are three years down the road and they might not have it now.
Bottom line. Patrick's Mother needs a lawyer. She needs one that is well versed in Military law. They are not hard to find. Once she gets one she can petition to access any of his accnts. UNLESS: he had named someone else as his beneficiary on his DD93 form and/or his will and/or an active POA.
My questions are these: (in addition to the ones above)
1. As for the military investigation. Was it a chain of command investigation or did it involve CID? Big difference in the investigations and big difference in the exact paperwork you can request by FOIA.
2. As for the roommate of Patrick who was/is currently deployed to the Middle East: 1. Is he in the same unit? 2. Who were his and Patrick's buddies within the unit they were both in at the time of Patrick's murder? 3. Has anyone talked to them offering them the protection of anonymity? 4. Of those buddy soldiers did any of those buddies have wives? IMHO and experience it's a lot easier to get the wife's to open up and tell all they know under the protection of anonymity if the could be tracked down they might have a goldmine of info. JMHO.
06-27-2010, 08:47 PM #28
Denny, again I am not arguing with your lawyer. I'm really not! but I think that he/she needs to review other regs first in relation to Patrick's timeline.
That is this (this is just how the Army works these matters)
The Army has to designate the status of each individual Soldier. As far as the Army knew Patrick was absent from duty.
After 30 days he is dropped from the rolls (DFR) so that his unit can resupply. (replace his MOS) (Soldier is usually redesignated into Deserter status)
Look at from this perspective. From day 1-30 Patrick is considered AWOL within reg. When they recieve official information that Patrick is indeed deceased his status is changed.
An official Death Certificate is used to change Patrick's status.
Again, I"m not trying to argue, but the exact regulation must be applied given where we are exactly within Patrick's timeline and Patrick's circumstances.
1. Was Patrick's Mother given access to a CAO (Casualty Assistance Officer, which does include Sr. NCO's trained in these matters)? Very important and if not, I'll try to find out why.
2. The Mother can't resolve any issue unless she has a hard copy of Patrick's Death Certificate.
I won't even get into why the civilian's aren't handling this matter. I'm irked with them at this moment and his Mother is going to have a rough road in getting a fire lit under their behinds.
Last edited by Kat; 06-27-2010 at 08:58 PM. Reason: I had snipped denny's post, wanted to notate that.
06-27-2010, 08:52 PM #29
Patrick's Mother can contact (it must be done by her or a direct family member) the IG of that instillation. To ask questions and ask for guidence on these matters.
06-27-2010, 08:57 PM #30Registered User
- Join Date
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- Las Vegas, Nevada
Kat has raised the issue about the Ssgt's authority to inventory and remove Patrick's personal effects from the off-base apartment. I contended that under 638-2 he didn't have that authority. Kat felt that section may not apply in this case because Patrick was an AWOL as opposed to "missing." She made a valid point and I thank her for that. I looked up the section Kat cited. It is very clear that she was right about there being a difference between the two.
However, regarding the Ssgt's authority or lack thereof, my opinion hasn't changed. And my basis for that is the word "control." Below is the paragraph that immediately precedes the section about AWOLs, followed by the first sentence of the AWOL section. I've highlighted in red why I feel the Ssgt removed Patrick's property from the apartment without proper authority.
When soldiers are absent from their units under unusual circumstances, you must ensure that both their personal and organizational property are protected from theft, damage, or loss. Even if soldiers are absent due to misconduct, the duty to protect their property does not change. Your failure to comply may result in claims against the Army. Your duty as a commander requires you to enter the absent soldier's area and may require you to forcibly search wall and foot lockers to make a complete inventory. Such authority applies only to areas under your control and does not apply off post.
ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE
As soon as a soldier is listed as AWOL, you will select an officer, warrant officer, or noncommissioned officer (pay grades E5 through E9) to inventory all of the soldier's property under your control.
The restrictions above placed on the military regarding the removal of personal effects from off-base civilian-controlled property seems consistent with the provisions and definitions in 638-2. So my reading is that whether Absent or Absent Without Leave, control of the site where the personal items are located is a requirement. Lacking that the authority doesn't exist.
However, Kat said that it is not uncommon to remove personal effects of Absent or AWOL soldiers from off-base civilian-owned premises. I certainly accept her at her word on that. That practice directly contradicts my interpretation of the regs and I'm at a loss to explain it. Suffice it to say that I'm confused.
At any rate, it's a good discussion and I'm glad Kat put it out there. Hopefully back and forth like this will help to resolve some issues and advance the effort to find out what happened to Patrick.
Last edited by Denny Griffin; 06-27-2010 at 09:04 PM.Denny Griffin
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