No foul play in Heidelberg death, authorities say
October 12, 2005
HEIDELBERG, Germany — A woman found dead in a bedroom of her quarters in Benjamin Franklin Village and identified by authorities as Juliette Hams was not a victim of foul play, authorities say.
Hams, 36, and the holder of a Kenyan passport, according to authorities, was found dead Thursday, five days after she was last seen. Authorities were alerted by neighbors concerned about an odor coming from the quarters and the continuous barking of the family dog.
The neighbors were among six that shared a stairwell with Juliette Hams and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Pierre Hams.
An investigation by German and U.S. military police has ruled out foul play, according to a U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim news release. The cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy.
Questions on how authorities ruled out foul play and when the autopsy was scheduled for were referred to the Mannheim prosecutor’s office, which said that that information would not be available until later in the week.
Pierre Hams was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the 510th Personnel Services Battalion. He has since returned to Germany to deal with his wife’s death.
What he will do next is unclear.
“Basically we’re leaving it up to him,” said Maj. Philip Ayer, 510th PSB executive officer. “If he wants to return to Afghanistan, he can. The most important part is to get him taken care of.”
The Hamses arrived in Mannheim in February 2004 from Joint Command South in Verona, Italy, according to Ayer.
No memorial services have yet been scheduled. “We’re waiting to hear from SFC Hams on his desires,” Ayer said.
Their dog was taken to a local animal shelter, Ayer said, but the sergeant was planning to reclaim it.