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:
For some reason I immediately wondered if Patrick and/or the old classmate and his roomie were gay. THEN, I scrolled up and read this paragraph: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
Strange.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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you Denny. I appreciate you taking the time to look at what I have written (I apologize it was so lengthy! )
I am at a loss to interpet regs myself Denny. It has been my experience that even CDR's and 1SGT's don't intepret regs. They contact the legal department of the facility in which the unit is located and ask on a daily basis how to handle cases involving soldiers.
Off topic: When we were stationed at Fort Hood, all questions about regs and such were sent up to III Corps. The only reason I know that is I am only familiar with the regs that directly effect family members and the FRG program (Family Readiness Group) and had to ask the Rear Detach CDR many times to send a request for interpretation of regs on behalf of the two reasons I listed above.
Kat, I really appreciate your input regarding military regs and procedure since my knowled in that area is quite limited. It was stated downthread that Patrick's belongings were secured within 48-72 hours after his disappearance. In practice, would you (or your husband from his experience) consider that a "normal" timeframe in this type of situation, meaning one where there were no apparent indication that a subject was likely to abscond? TIA
What great posts and questions!
Kat and I have been going back and forth discussing whether the Ssgt had the authority to inventory and remove Patrick's personal effects from the apartment - see my post from yesterday at 8:57 pm.
When I was researching the regulation Kat referred to I was intrigued by the two categories - Absent and Absent Without Leave. That raised a question in my mind regarding how Patrick's disappearance was classified and at what point.
The definition of an Absent soldier under that particular regulation says, "When soldiers are absent from their units under unusual circumstances..." Based on three documents I have reviewed, I wonder if Patrick qualified as an Absent soldier - at least initially - rather than an AWOL.
The sworn statements that the roomie and the Ssgt gave military investigators both included wording that it was out of character for Patrick to miss formations; that he had just reenlisted and was looking forward to his new assignment to the state of Washington. The report of the Watertown Police Dept. dated 3/19/07 shows that the roomie and Ssgt came to the PD on that date to report that Patrick had not been seen or heard from since the the night of March 15-16 and that this was not his normal behavior. The report said the incident was being treated as an "attempt to locate." On the followind day, 3/20, Patrick's parents came to the PD at separate times to report him as a missing person.
Was Patrick's disappearance "under unusual circumstances" rather than a clear AWOL? It probably doesn't matter in the great scheme of things, but I'll be interested in learning when Patrick was classified as what.
I have also seen the inventory form the Ssgt filled out. It is dated 3/19, but doesn't specify the time of day or the location from which the items were impounded. That can be important because Patrick had belongings in the barracks as well as the apartment. There is no question that the barracks inventory was totally within the Army's authority. But there aren't two inventory documents, so I'm assuming the one I've seen is a combination of items removed from both locations.
There is no way to tell from that form whether the inventory of the apartment took place before or after the roomie and SSgt went to the PD on 3/19. But it definitely occured before Patrick was officially reported as missing and before a police investigation would commence. It should also be noted that on the PD report of 3/19 there is no mention that Patrick's personal effects had already been removed from the apartment or that there was a plan to do so.
As a side note, when Judy Rust questioned the authorities at Fort Drum regarding Patrick's belongings in the summer of 2007, they said the property had already been turned over to her ex-husband. She asked if that included items from the apartment. Their response was pretty much, "What apartment?" Their paperwork made no mention of the off-post location. Judy subsequently received a letter from the Army admitting they should have released Patrick's personal belongings to her and not her ex.
Judy plans to schedule a meeting with CID at Fort Drum early next month. She intends to point out what she feels was a gross mishandling of Patrick's case, including the removal of his off-post belongings and a less than adequate investigation. She hopes they'll agree to take a second look and has asked me to accompany her.
We're compiling a list of questions to ask at that meeting. Any suggestions you have for that list are welcome.
To answer your question simply yes it would have been SOP to see Patrick's belongings secured anywhere after 24-78 hours after the process started to classify him as AWOL.
This is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). It is by the Reg from what I've seen so far. I haven't seen any docs to contradict that the SSG didn't get assigned this task (doing Inventory of an AWOL soldiers belongings is considered a menial task).
Why this SSG? IMHO and my Husband's I think it would be safe to assume since he was the same SSG that got the call that Patrick wouldn't be in formation later that morning and he was the same SSG assigned to inventory Patrick's belongings then that SSG was more than likely Patrick's Squad leader or could have very well been his Platoon Leader (if that unit was short the needed NCO's/ JR. Officers needed to fill that position, it happens often).
About the taking the inventory of absentee baggage for an AWOL soldier. Even off post housing.
The SSG wouldn't have gone alone to inventory Patrick's belongings. It is considered a menial task as I said and there would have been more than just the SSG and the Roommate there. Not just my Humble opinion. If there wasn't then---that's something we would need to know and then discuss.
When they inventoried Patrick's belongings we have to remember that it's not just his personal belongings that would have been inventoried. It would include all of his Military issue (TA-50, etc.) That can take a bit of time and must be done on the proper forms.
An E-7 or above must sign off on that inventory once it is back at the unit and getting ready to be placed in storage for the AWOL Soldier.
I'm not saying the SSG isn't involved with Patrick's murder, I'm just saying that looking at the circumstances as they've been outlined so far, all I'm seeing is that SSG was doing what he was told to do. That would have been an oral directive by the one in the Command Team. It would have come from the mouth of the 1SGT more than likely but could have very well come from the CDR of that unit. (I'm also not saying that the roommate did not move or remove some of Patrick's belongings before the SSG and the other members of the unit got to the apartment to inventory Patrick's belongings!)
FWIW Bessie, every single day each military member must be accounted. It must be notated who's on leave, who's on medical profile, who's in formation and active on the job----lot's of categories.
As for starting the process of changing Patrick's official military status as AWOL it is something that the command team had to do if they did not have any contact with Patrick after 24 hours of that missed formation.
The Roommates phone call was a huge red flag. But the command team wouldn't have started the process at that time.
The status of AWOL has nothing to do with Patrick being missing is what I'm trying to say---it's something that has to be done because of regs.
I hope I gave you more insight
Last edited by Kat; 06-28-2010 at 09:34 PM. Reason: add a sentence.
It's important to know who Patrick had listed on his DD93 form as next of kin.
If you don't mind once you outline the questions you have for the CID could you give us a brief synopsis of what you are going to ask?
Denny, you are more than likely going to be sitting in a room with Officers as well as CID investigators. Does Patrick's Mother know of an officer on Fort Drum that can go with her during this interview?
IMHE (in my humble experience) it helps to have an officer within the chain of command (Patrick's old unit) to sit with you when going into a meeting like this.
No particular reason other than to provide moral support and make sure you don't get smoke blown up your wazoo. Not that the military is more prone to do that, it happens in civilian LE meetings too.
FWIW, and only IMHO this is going to sound harsh but it's not said that way in my head, it's said with the utmost respect and with compassion for Patrick's Mom.
She needs to find a focus for her complaint. If the military did screw up the inventory of Patrick's belongings and released them to the wrong person. Then by all means, she should be extended an apology and also she can rest assured (even is she is not told this) that the Soldiers within that chain of command that caused the errors will be reprimanded.
IMHO she needs to focus on why the Civilian authorities are not actively investigating Patrick's case.
IMHO, the military can only investigate his death to a certain extent. Their hands are tied so to speak because 1. Patrick was off post when the crime against him happened. 2. His body was discovered off post.
It's the Civilian LE that has to work this and why aren't they? I would like to know what excuse they have for giving Patrick's case an inactive status?
It's inexcusable that the DET in Patrick's is not taking his Mother's calls. Shame on him.
I have no experience in those matters but I'm sure there are WS members who know what avenues to take to get attention once again on Patrick's case.
Thanks so much for taking the time to explain, Kat. Obviously, the question in my mind was whether or not someone higher up the chain of command was in a hurry to sweep dirt under the proverbial rug. At least now I know that the timeframe for the inventory was SOP, and I certainly understand the need to secure standard issue expediently. That's not something to be left lying around unattended. On the other hand, where foul play is suspected, it seems that military procedure comes in conflict with what would be considered SOP from a law enforcement standpoint. That's an interesting twist that hasn't come up in other cases I've followed, at least not that I can recall right now. I hope you don't mind if I ask more questions when I've had time to give this more thought.
I'm going to try to give a brief definition of the following terms. I, in no way, can cite AR or interpret how they are used, I am only defining these terms as I, personally, have seen them used in the past:
1. AWOL- Absent WithOut Leave. This means simply put that the Soldier has not been in contact with his Chain of Command and did not request and/or was not granted leave from duty.
2. Absent (under unusual circumstances)- Broad category. Could include special circumstances of 1. Being attached to another unit and but not PCSed to that unit. The Soldier is (in civilian terms) on loan to another unit because of his job skill/training (MOS). 2. The soldier has no leave accrued and due to a death in his/her family requests to go home (away from duty). At that point in time he/she is absent but not on leave. 3. The Soldier has an ill relative (Mother, Father, Sibling) that the presence of the Soldier has been requested (usually through RC channels) and the soldier is granted leave under unusual circumstances (allowing soldier to take leave with no accrued leave or has accrued leave but needs to not use those days because of another reason for that leave to be used, in my experience I've seen this extended to Soldiers who's wife was due to have a baby, the leave had been requested for use for that baby and then the Soldier's Mother had a stroke and was not expected to pull through...etc.)
Again, I am not a subject matter expert but I hope that my broad definitions have cleared up some questions.
That the matter would have been worked out being the Chain of Command (higher than the unit CDR which was probably a CPT) and the Civilian LE.
In the cases of the Military being contacted prior to going to an offpost home, and told that the home was or could possibly be a crime scene, then the Military definately holds off.
I see nothing to indicate that the Military had been informed that the apartment was a potential crime scene. At that point in time they were doing what they had to do by regs. All JMHO.
(FWIW, I have seen this done in cases where there a was dual Military couple, a murder-suicide. The Military held off until getting clearance from the Civilian LE to go in and inventory the military issue at that home. There was no need to inventory personal belongings of the couple because one of their family members came from afar to be there at that time, they had been there to take care of details of the funerals and the children left behind).
Last edited by Kat; 06-28-2010 at 09:58 PM. Reason: add the last paragraph.
Kat...totally , but I gotta say this, at once upon a long time ago, I was an Ombudsman (ex-hubby was Navy), you are the bomb on this stuff!
I hope you DH appreciates how much you know about the inner workings of the Military!
<Click on User CP>
Scroll down and on the left
<Click on Edit Ignore List>
In add a Member to your list
<start typing the name of the person you want to ignore>
<Click on OKay>
IF WE COOK IT THEY WILL COME!
It is my honor and it is a blessing that I have been afforded the opportunity to help other military families not only find the resources they need to survive our current combat environment ( within the military) but to thrive.
I can't solve their problems. However, I can by keeping myself informed, refer them to the proper resources.
I am now an Army Mom too. It is an even greater honor to work with the Mom's and Dad's that don't understand the in's and out's of the great machine of the Army.
I would consider it a great honor to help Patrick's Mother access any resources she needs during her time of grief. God bless her.
Wanttohelp: That's a great site. I've only scanned a couple of pages, but I can see that it addresses questions pertinent to Patrick's case. Should make good reading.
Denny: Did civilian LE have a look-see of the apartment? Did they go through Patrick's belongings?
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008
The article above is for the WS members that are looking for articles outlining Patrick's death.
It includes a picture of Patrick. Very handsome young man, may he rest in peace.
Our POI is a former soldier of Fort Drum:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010
snipped but a lot more at link:
...The department had "a person of interest" at that time, and still does, he said. The person is a former Fort Drum soldier.
When the disappearance occurred, the soldier made an oral statement to military officials, the sheriff said. After the body was discovered, the soldier was questioned, but he refused to give a written, sworn statement, Sheriff Burns said.
"He seemed to know quite a bit about what happened," the sheriff said.
The soldier subsequently was deployed to the Middle East, so a detective was left waiting for him to return for renewed questioning. After coming home in June 2008, the soldier hired a lawyer and invoked his right to remain silent.
"We know he is in the Syracuse area," the sheriff said. "But he won't talk to us. We talked to his wife, but she won't comment."
i appreciate your help kat, but i knew people were not reading my post. the articles you just posted, i posted these and snipped the same sections in my post earlier. the one article also states money and atm were found with him. so if this is true to me it complicates money being motive theory. like i asked in my post and i will again, why so many obvious contradicting statements as the case went on, meaning not just immediately after he was missing? the one article states they were at the mall 5 hours.
imo both these parents seem to have loved their son, and if your going to get anywhere you need to get them working together and on the same team. i dont believe the dad had plans to go out of town with his son, and just didnt talk to him then the whole weekend. i think not hearing from his son, who had no way of transportation (liscense), just not worry something was wrong. just not call anyone, go there, etc.
the father imo knows facts and probally talked to people before the mom, so comments etc. he heard would be important.
he says things that imo are said because he believes they are important.
-ex.he had the games/cds with him, he had no jacket and it was below 0
this is ridiculous these two cant come together in finding out what happened to their kid. you said he wouldnt contact you back directly, what does that mean?
each post you add more info you have
ex.the guys he was with at bar were gay, the "$27,000" comment, docs you have like the inventory ones, or statements
clearly all of us only have media articles to go on, which contradict each other, so laying out what the cold facts are in a post (with reference; who said something, or a doc, discovery etc.) would be helpful and save others here time, if your not ready to show your cards.
btw he went to a relatively small high school, actually i guess there it jshs.
only about 160 and class photo in online. his name has ** that means special program or something. is the like an rotc, or special ed?
btw, sorry for incorrect capping, my right shift key is broken.
I agree with you on what you pointed out wanttohelp.
And I agree exactly for the reasons you outlined in your post above....the father imo knows facts and probally talked to people before the mom, so comments etc. he heard would be important...
That's why I asked about the DD93. It's important because whoever Patrick designated on that form is who the military has to contact with anything. 1. If he is injured, missing, KIA....etc. 2. If he is hospitalized and can't communicate, etc. 3. Release any of his info to before and after death 4. Release his personal belongings to after his death..etc.
A Question to Denny,
Was Patrick's Mother on the DD93 as next of kin?
Again from wanttohelp:
We have to have an answer to that question wanttohelp posed please?...this is ridiculous these two cant come together in finding out what happened to their kid. you said he wouldnt contact you back directly, what does that mean?...
Very good website you pulled up earlier wanttohelp, I'm sorry I missed reading it at the time, I was very lost in my own thoughts about how to find my own focus on this case. (meaning I didn't see the military investigation and etc as a focus).
I apologize for missing it! and for duplicating your article links!
Okay I went back and read every single post (not just the OP as I did last time, deeply sorry about that!).
I'll ask Judy about the NOK issue when I speak with her on Thursday. We will introduce this case on our Crime Wire show next Tuesday, July 6. We're on from 9 to 10 pm Eastern. The Rust case will be a 20 minute segment, but I won't know the order of the show until Monday. Patrick's mother will be one of the guests. The link to listen in to the show is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/crimewire
You can call in with questions or ask them through the chat room. Due to a limited number of phone lines the chat room is probably a better bet.
Bessie - No, the SSgt and roomie inventoried and removed Patrick's personal effects from the apartment prior to notifying the civilian police of his absence. If there was anything of value to the investigation located there, it was removed/contaminated prior to civilian LE getting involved.
A Point to Ponder
In their sworn statements both the SSgt and roomie told military investigators that Patrick's absence was out of character because he had no history of being tardy or missing formations. That information was reflected in the police officer's narrative when the pair visited the police department after they completed the inventory. Based on their own statements, it could be argued that they considered Patrick's disappearance to be suspicious. If so, why not touch base with civilian LE prior to doing the inventory and get an opinion on whether to immediately do the inventory or let the cops take a look first?