LOVELAND, Colo. — The family of Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz who was found dead at Camp Pendleton on March 15th is disputing the Marine Corps’ ruling of suicide. Shultz’s mother was told that Lance’s body was found on the 15th at 4 am, with a gunshot wound to the head. She claims that she was originally told he commit suicide. Yet, the next day, she was purportedly told by someone that he did not commit suicide.
Fox affiliate KDVR did not confirm the specific details of this conversation. In fact, they did not alter their headline, until days after. In San Diego, the news initially reported that Schultz was found shot while on guard duty at Camp Pendleton, and died from his injuries. It never mentions suicide, however, it does mention that the U.S. Marines would not be releasing any information regarding Schultz’s death.
KDVR’s interview with the family clearly shows that they are not accepting the official statement without some kind of proof:
Schultz’s brother Lincoln, says family members are convinced that’s not accurate.” There’s no one in the family who believes that this was self inflicted,” says Lincoln. “As far as I’m concerned, he was the happiest he’s ever been.”
According to Lincoln, Schultz had already booked a trip home for April 5th, the day before his funeral will now be held.
“He had made so many plans with so many people” says Lincoln. “He was going to be home April 5th. And had literally talked to my mom 6 hours before that, and sent her the flight itinerary.”
Schultz was excited about his upcoming deployment to South Africa, according to his brother.
“There’s not a single signal that tells us he was in a bad point in life, that he was in a bad state of mind. I just need conclusive evidence that it was self inflicted and at that point, you just have to accept it, and move on.”
The Marine Corps’ declined to release the coroner’s report, or offer specifics on how they reached the ruling of suicide.
Without a doubt, this conclusion would be tough for any family to swallow. There will always be the lingering question, “What if? What if someone murdered our boy?”
Before you make accusations of being anti-American for questioning the official report, it is important to note the marines are comprised of human beings, who make mistakes. In fact, just a few hours from Camp Pendleton, a California Marine corps base in Twentynine Palms was labeled as “toxic” by Newsweek magazine with a culture of drug dealing, murder, and sexual assault. In fact, the 1st Marine Division who reported on Riley’s death was also involved in working with the authorities on a murder charge involving one of their marines.
The Conservatarian Press will be following this story closely, as we agree with the family that there must be full transparency regarding the death of our veterans, unless of course if it violates national security, and suicide is likely not the most common cause of death under those circumstances. The secrecy behind military actions is nothing new, as it is often required. However, the power behind that veil also allows for corruption in the form of cover-ups and lies. As they say, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” At a minimum, the family deserves a valid reason as to why they will not release the results of their investigation.
Even if the results do contradict his brother’s concerns, the opportunity to have access to the information surrounding his death will provide the family closure.
Riley Schultz will have a military funeral ceremony on April 6th.