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Investigators try to put together timeline of soldier, veteran before Fort Bragg killings

Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, was one of two men found dead Dec. 2, 2020, in a training area on Fort Bragg, N.C., the Army said in a statement.

U.S. ARMY

By STEVE DEVANE | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: February 2, 2021

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Federal investigators are trying to determine where a Fort Bragg soldier and a veteran were before they were killed.

The FBI and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command want to know if anyone saw Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne II, 37, or Timothy J. Dumas, 44, on Dec. 1-2, according to a statement released by the FBI on Tuesday. The bodies of the two men were found near a Fort Bragg training area on Dec. 2.

Lavigne's gray 2016 Chevrolet Colorado pickup was found at the crime scene near Manchester Road, the statement said. A dark-colored 2015 Dodge Ram pickup belonging to Dumas was discovered abandoned somewhere else, it said.

Anyone with information about the deaths or who saw either of the men or their respective vehicles on Dec. 1-2 is asked to call the FBI's Charlotte office at 704-672-6100 or Army CID at 910-396-8777.

A death certificate says that Lavigne died of multiple gunshot wounds and was shot by an unknown person. Dumas' cause of death is listed on a death certificate as gunshot wounds to the chest and head.

The death certificates say the two men were found about 3:30 p.m. Dec. 2, in the woods on Fort Bragg. The certificates don't indicate how long the bodies were in the woods.

Lavigne and Dumas were scheduled to appear in court for unrelated cases in December and January, according to court records.

Lavigne was supposed to be in Cumberland County District Court on Jan. 15 for a Feb. 17, 2020, hit-and-run charge, court documents say.

Dumas was scheduled to appear in Forsyth County District Court on Dec. 17 for charges of breaking and entering, communicating threats and impersonating a law enforcement officer, according to court records.

Lavigne also was involved in other Cumberland County cases that never resulted in charges, records show. He shot to death Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Leshikar on March 21, 2018. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office investigated and decided that the death was "justifiable homicide."

Lavigne also was indicted Sept. 1, 2018, for felony charges of harboring an escapee and maintaining a vehicle or dwelling place to manufacture a controlled substance. The charges were dropped when authorities determined that he was not involved in the criminal activity, officials said.

sdevane@fayobserver.com

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