A soldier has been arrested in the death of a military wife and Army veteran at Schofield Barracks, the military said.
The woman, identified as 25-year-old Selena Roth, was found dead in military housing Wednesday morning by military police conducting a welfare check requested by a family member.
Special agents from the Army Criminal Investigation Command took a suspect into custody that evening after questioning, according to a press release.
“This is now an ongoing homicide investigation into a senseless and tragic death,” CID spokesman Chris Grey said Thursday. The suspect was in pre-trial confinement, but more details were not released since the investigation is ongoing.
Military Housing at Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Roth’s mother, Joanne, posted on Facebook that the family had asked police for help after losing contact with her daughter for several days.
“On behalf of the Army community in Hawaii, I extend our deepest condolences to Selena’s loved ones,” said Maj. Gen. James Jarrard the commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii. “We are committed to the pursuit of justice, and those responsible will be held accountable.”
The death occurred in the wake of a debate over violence against women in the military prompted by the killing last year of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old soldier who had complained about being sexually harassed at Fort Hood, Texas.
Many women began using the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen.
Selena Roth’s personal Facebook page also featured a profile picture of Guillen.
“Vanessa Guillen is still my profile picture, not because I’m too lazy to change it, but because what happened to her is an ongoing issue that affects us all,” Roth wrote in a Dec. 7 post. “I know it feels old, I know you’re tired of all of this, but don’t let her death go without consequence.”
Roth’s mother said Friday that she had deleted several details previously shared on Facebook at the request of investigators. However, other family members posted remembrances of her.
“She was my younger sister and probably my biggest fan,” her brother Michael Roth wrote. “This was the type of girl who drove 4 hours after working to go rescue a dog from a kill shelter. She had a big heart.”
Roth was passionate about taking care of dogs and offered dog-sitting services on Oahu for $7 per day per pet, according to her business Facebook page. She also frequently posted about pet foster care.
Guillen went missing in April and her body wasn’t found until June. Investigators later determined that a fellow soldier murdered her with a hammer and dismembered her body before hiding it outside of Killeen, Texas.
Guillen’s suspected killer, Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, shot himself before police could apprehend him.
In December, the Army punished 14 leaders at Fort Hood after a review found serious problems at the base, including a command that didn’t take sexual harassment seriously.
Kevin Knodell covers the military and veterans in Hawaii and the greater Pacific for Civil Beat as a corps member for Report For America, a national nonprofit that places journalists in local newsrooms.