A Fort Bliss, Texas, soldier found unresponsive in her barracks this week was connected romantically to another soldier who died of an accidental overdose in her barracks last New Year’s Eve, according to reports.
Pvt. Marriah A. Pouncy, 20, died on Monday, the Army announced Thursday, according to KFOX 14 in El Paso, and had been a potential witness in the court-martial of Pfc. Christian Alvarado.
Alvarado was sentenced to 18 years in prison last week for sexually assaulting Pfc. Asia Graham, 19, and another woman. Pouncy ultimately didn’t testify in the case.
Graham was found unresponsive in her barracks from an overdose on Dec. 31, 2020, around a year after she reported Alvarado to authorities.
Graham and Pouncy had a “close friendship,” it was revealed in the trial and had been involved romantically and were engaged to be married, KVIA-TV in El Paso reported.
“I know she had a lot of love for (Marriah) and if Asia had still been alive, I know she would be devastated by her death,” Nicole Graham, Asia’s mother, told KVIA.
Pouncy was a human resources specialist assigned to the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, according to KFOX. She was a native of Arizona.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Pvt. Marriah Pouncy,” Col. Geoffrey Whittenberg, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade commander, said in a statement. “Pvt. Pouncy was a committed soldier, friend, and valued member of the Iron Eagle Team. Her loss is not just felt within our formation, but across the Army.”
Pouncy’s death remained under investigation but foul play wasn’t suspected, the Army reportedly said. The Army said her death was “believed to be an isolated incident.”
The Army would not comment on Graham and Pouncy’s personal relationship, according to the Army Times.
A study released this month found that female soldiers at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, both in Texas, faced the highest risk of harassment and sexual assault, particularly those in combat commands or jobs such as field artillery and engineering.