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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A fourth person is being held in the Joint Forces Brig in connection with the death of a 3rd Dental Battalion sailor Feb. 4 on Camp Hansen.

A Marine spokesman said the fourth suspect, identified only as a woman stationed on Camp Hansen, was taken into custody Wednesday. The other three suspects, two men and a woman apprehended a week ago, were assigned to the Camp Hansen Dental Clinic.

All four suspects were apprehended by personnel from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Marine Provost Marshal’s Office and are being held in the brig on Camp Hansen, according to a Marine press release.

The body of Seaman Adam J. Palecco, 21, was discovered about 12:10 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The nature of Palecco’s wounds and all other details of the ongoing investigation are being withheld by Marine officials in order to “preserve the integrity of the investigation,” said 1st Lt. Eric Tausch, spokesman for Marine Consolidated Public Affairs on Okinawa.

“Information on the suspects will be released if and when charges are preferred,” said Tausch. “Suspects must be arraigned within 120 days of being confined.”

Palecco was the adopted son of Bonnie and Raymond Palecco of Hackettstown, N.J. He joined the Navy soon after graduating from Hackettstown High School in 2002. Classmates told a reporter for the local newspaper, the Easton Express-Times, that Palecco had some minor disciplinary problems in school but saw the Navy as a way to get his life back on track.

“He was an outgoing kid, a great personality,” Frank Rybicki told the Express-Times reporter. He said Palecco also was known as a bit of a loner throughout high school.

“Then he got in the Navy and he felt like he belonged,” Rybicki said.


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