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Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Santiago, 33, a signal support systems specialist, was charged in connection with the death of Meghan Santiago, as well as with the injury of their unborn child, according to an Army statement.
Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Santiago, 33, a signal support systems specialist, was charged in connection with the death of Meghan Santiago, as well as with the injury of their unborn child, according to an Army statement. (Grayson County Detention Center)

A soldier assigned to the Fifth Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky., has been charged with murder in the death of his pregnant wife, Army officials said Wednesday.

Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Santiago, 33, a signal support systems specialist, was also charged with injuring the couple’s unborn child and he was first taken into custody Sept. 28, one day after the incident, the Army said.

The Army did not say how or when his wife, Meghan Santiago, died. However, a senior Army enlisted soldier who spoke on condition of anonymity said she suffered a brain stem injury that left her on life support.

Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Santiago, 33, a signal support systems specialist, was charged in connection with the death of Meghan Santiago, shown here in an undated photo provided by family.
Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Santiago, 33, a signal support systems specialist, was charged in connection with the death of Meghan Santiago, shown here in an undated photo provided by family. (Varcak family)

“Meghan’s death is a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends,” said Col. Brent Lindeman, commander of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). “This tragic event has shaken our entire unit. We take all allegations of domestic violence seriously, and we will provide every resource to ensure a thorough investigation.”

Following the incident, the couple’s two other children were placed in the temporary custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the Army said.

The Army also said no further information will be released at this time because the service needs to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

“The charges in this case are merely accusations and all soldiers accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty,” according to the Army.

On Facebook, commenters offered an outpouring of support for Meghan Santiago.

“I’m so sorry that you went through all of the pain and that the person you vowed to share your life with hurt you,” one person wrote. 

Cindy Lamotta, who identified herself as a family friend, wrote: “Miraculously, the baby survived.”

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