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STUTTGART, Germany — A Stuttgart-based soldier died Sunday morning from an apparent heroin overdose at an off-post apartment.

Sgt. Gregory D. Hunter, Jr., 26, was stricken at about 6 a.m. after giving himself a heroin injection while in the bathroom of a friend’s apartment in Echterdingen, a Stuttgart suburb, according to a statement from the Esslingen Police Department.

Hunter was treated at the scene by an emergency doctor and then transported to Filderklinik, a hospital in nearby Filderstadt, where he was pronounced dead at 7:25 a.m.

Hunter was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company at Army Garrison Stuttgart. According to the garrison public affairs officer, Lawrence Reilly, Hunter had been assigned to the garrison for two years and worked as a driver for garrison personnel and VIPs.

Hunter’s body was released by German authorities and transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where an autopsy was to be performed.

Marie Shaw, a Landstuhl spokeswoman, said Wednesday that an autopsy had not yet been performed. She said tests of tissues for toxicity and other findings, which would produce a more detailed autopsy result, usually take about six weeks to complete.

According to the police statement, German investigators believed that Hunter had died as a result of years of drug abuse. The German police did not respond Wednesday to a request to elaborate on their statement.

Dr. Robert McCollum, chief of Installation Command Europe’s Army Substance Abuse Program, which administers urinalyses of soldiers, said he did not know details of the Hunter case.

McCollum said the Army had an aggressive urinalysis testing program, and that in Europe soldiers are tested on average twice per year. He said the days of the week of the tests get changed regularly, and include weekends.

There also are ways in which soldiers could be tested individually or unit-wide, he said, and that the main goal of drug testing was to deter drug use.

“The commander has a lot of options for his use to deter drug abuse through urinalysis testing,” McCollum said.

Hunter, who was divorced, was from San Antonio. He is survived by his two children, David, 9 and Ryan, 6, and his parents, Norma and Gregory Hunter Sr.

As of Wednesday, a memorial service for Hunter had not yet been scheduled.


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