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A month later, Navy has no cause of death for sailor in Bahrain

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 17, 2008

After nearly a month, the Navy has yet to release the cause of death of Petty Officer 1st Class Cherie Morton, a command career counselor and 15-year Navy veteran assigned to Commander, Navy Region Southwest Asia in Bahrain.

Morton, 40, was found dead in her off-base apartment in Galali, Bahrain on the morning of April 20. Millie Slamin, spokeswoman for Naval Support Activity Bahrain, said Friday there was "no violence detected, no weapon and no terrorism involved" in the sailor’s death.

When asked if there was a criminal investigation into the incident, she responded via e-mail, stating: "The investigation that is ongoing is the investigation into the cause of her death." In an earlier statement, she said media reports of gunshot wounds were incorrect.

Slamin did not respond to queries as to whether the autopsy had been completed, or the remains returned to the family. Memorial services were held for Morton in Bahrain and in Illinois and California in April.

"Not knowing is just devastating," Morton’s stepmother, Cornelia Gary, said in the Rockford Star, a local news paper from Illinois. "You can’t really get closure with this thing without at least knowing the cause of death."


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