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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Three servicemembers are being held in the death of a Navy dental technician whose body was found Feb. 4 on Camp Hansen.

Few details are being released in the case, which the Naval Criminal Investigative Service now is handling as a possible homicide, officials have confirmed.

The three, whose names were not released, were from 3rd Dental Battalion, said 1st Lt. Eric Tausch, a Marine spokesman. They’re confined at the Camp Hansen Brig pending charges in connection with the death of Seaman Adam J. Palecco, 21, of Hackettstown, N.J.

Palecco, the son of Bonnie and Raymond Palecco of Hackettstown, also was assigned to the 3rd Dental Battalion, Tausch said.

According to the Easton Express-Times, Palecco’s acquaintances knew the 2002 Hackettstown High School graduate as being a “friendly, respectful young man.”

His body was discovered at 12:12 a.m. and he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Marine spokesman. An autopsy later was held at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester.

The nature of his wounds and all other details of the investigation were being withheld by Marine officials Monday in order to “preserve the integrity of the investigation,” Tausch said.

“Law enforcement personnel from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler Provost Marshal’s Office apprehended three U.S. servicemembers Saturday morning in connection with the suspected homicide,” Tausch said.

“NCIS continues to investigate the incident,” he said.

Persons with information regarding the case are asked to call the NCIS tip line at 645-0779, or e-mail investigators at oki-possee@ncis.navy.mil.


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