Gay Sailor Found Dead On Marine Base In Suspected Homicide
Posted on July 2, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
CAMP PENDLETON — The body of a 29-year-old sailor was found in a Camp Pendleton guard shack Tuesday, and a “person of interest” was taken into custody in connection with the suspected homicide, Navy officials said yesterday.
The body of Seaman August Provost of Houston, Texas, was discovered about 3:30 a.m. on the western edge of the base, said Doug Sayers, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest.
An autopsy was completed yesterday, but authorities were waiting for results of toxicology tests to determine a cause of death.
A “person of interest” was being held in the Navy brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. No charges have been filed.
The death has local gay activists calling for a formal investigation into whether Provost was slain because of his sexual orientation.
“We’re definitely monitoring this and trust and hope the military will investigate this in the professional way it should,” said Nicole Murray-Ramirez, chairman of San Diego’s Human Rights Commission. Murray-Rameriz also has contacted Reps. Susan Davis and Bob Filner, asking that they make official inquiries to the military concerning an investigation.
The Navy would not comment on whether Provost’s orientation had anything to do with the death.
“While ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ is in place, anybody in the military who is a homosexual has no place to go to get assistance or counseling,” said Ben Gomez of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an advocacy group for gays in the military.
Provost’s boyfriend, Kaether Cordero, said yesterday that Provost was openly gay but kept his private life quiet for the most part.
“People who he was friends with, I knew that they knew,” Cordero said from Houston. “He didn’t care that they knew. He trusted them.”
Gay Pride in Moscow: Report from a Chicago Activist
Africa: Gay and lesbian voices in African blogosphere
Gay Muslims in the UK
A Long Road Traveled