Klobuchar asks Army to re-examine Minnesota soldier’s suicide, sexual assault
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar is asking the U.S. Army to reinvestigate the death of a Minnesota soldier who died by suicide in 2018.
Pvt. Nicole Burnham of Andover was sexually harassed and assaulted by a fellow solider while stationed overseas at Camp Casey in South Korea, according to military records. She was found dead in her room at Fort Carson in Colorado, nearly a month after being transferred.
In a letter obtained by 5 INVESTIGATES, Klobuchar urged Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy to "reinvestigate any potential gaps or uncertain conclusions included in the report," including a new allegation of a sexual assault that occurred after Nicole was transferred.
"We must work to address the legitimate concerns of the Burnham family and use these lessons to prevent situations like this from happening in the future," Klobuchar’s letter reads.
Stacey Burnham, Nicole’s mother, said the latest revelation calls into the question the integrity of the Army’s original investigation into her daughter’s death and the circumstances around it.
"We’re not really convinced the Army has been forthcoming with the investigation," she said.
Klobuchar raised other concerns from the Burnham family in the letter, including continuing questions around why Nicole was not immediately transferred after reporting the assault and why command staff at Fort Carson were not properly briefed on the situation she faced in South Korea.
"I really think the Army owes us some more answers and a more complete and thorough investigation," Stacey Burnham said.
Since her daughter’s death, Stacey Burnham has worked to bring awareness to the issue of veteran suicides.
On Saturday, more than 100 people gathered for a 5K walk, to honor those service members who have taken their own lives.
"It’s an honor that everyone would come out, and give their time," Stacey Burnham said before the event.
The family hopes this latest inquiry will lead to the answers they’ve been searching for since Nicole’s death.
"You have to start somewhere," Stacey Burnham said.