The investigation into a recruit’s death Friday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island could take about three weeks.
Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old male recruit from Taylor, Mich., died Friday on Parris Island. The circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been revealed.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Parris Island office is investigating with local military authorities, a process that could require about 20 days, Marine spokesman Capt. Greg Carroll said Monday. The federal law enforcement agency investigates all noncombat deaths in the Navy and Marine Corps in which the person wasn’t under medical care, Carroll said.
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The investigation’s timeline can fluctuate depending on findings, he added.
Attempts to reach an NCIS representative were unsuccessful Monday. Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said Monday he could not comment without first being cleared by the military.
Siddiqui arrived on Parris Island on March 7 and was assigned to the Recruit Training Regiment, Carroll said.
“Our most sincere and deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Siddiqui,” Carroll said in a statement Sunday. “The Marine Corps is in contact with the family to ensure they receive our support.”
Recruits go through a week of processing that includes receiving haircuts, uniforms and gear and undergoing a strength test before beginning training. The first three weeks of training include military history, basic first aid, leadership, drilling and martial arts, the Marine Corps’ website says.
About 20,000 recruits train each year at the Port Royal depot, one of two Marine boot camps in the country.
Parris Island has been the site of deaths in the past, including that of recruits during training exercises. It was not revealed Monday whether that was the case with Siddiqui.
The most deadly incident, in April 1956, nearly shut the depot down after a staff sergeant marched his platoon into the swampy, tidal Ribbon Creek, and six recruits drowned. The drill instructor, Matthew McKeon, was later found guilty of possession and use of an alcoholic beverage, and the Marine Corps enacted changes such as greater supervision of drill instructors and more formal training of recruits.
More recent deaths at the depot include February 2005 drowning of 19-year-old Jason Tharp, who died after struggling to pass a combat water survival test in a pool. His staff sergeant was later acquitted of negligent homicide.
In September 2006, a new male recruit, whose name was not released, died after participating in an initial strength exam designed to test recruits’ basic physical readiness for training.
And in June 2014, Staff Sgt. Hugo O. Espinoza, 31, was found dead in base housing just about a year after he became a drill instructor for the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. No foul play was suspected.
Reporter Rebecca Lurye contributed to this report.