Families claim Army could have prevented 2011 deaths involving FEAR militia

Some new information filed in connection with a lawsuit on a double murder case in Long County in 2011 brings the military and its actions back into focus. It involves the leader of the FEAR militia group which was a small group of active duty soldiers at Fort Stewart. The proverbial question asked by family members of the victims is “what did the military know about the group’s ringleader and when did it know it?”

On December 5, 2011 the bodies of 19 year old Michael Roark and his 17 year old girlfriend Tiffany York (who was from the area) were found on a deserted Long County Road. Roark who was from Washington (state) had just left the military a few days before. Within a few weeks, four of his friends who were still active duty military were arrested for the murders. Then came word from proseuctors that the four had been part of a small group called FEAR, a so called militia that had planned to try to overthrow the government.

in 2014, family members of Roark and York filed legal action in an attempt to hold the military accountable for the deaths, saying if more should have been done months before the 2011 killings to investigate violent actions of the group’s ringleader. That man was Isaac Aguigui and in July of 2011 his pregnant wife (who was also a solider at Fort Stewart) died in their home. By 2014, Aguigui was being court martialed led by the military and he was ultimately found guilty for the deaths of his wife and unborn child.

But family members were becoming involved in the legal process themselves, also filing action in 2014 to attempt to hold the military accountable for not charging Aguigui with his wife’s crimes. The premise is that if Aguigui had been charged near the time of his wife’s death in July of 2011 and was in custody – that he could not have helped to orchestrate the killings of the two young people months later.

Now some documents have surfaced as part of the families’ legal action (which is a suit filed in federal court in Washington (state) where the mother of Michael Roark lives. The documents are emails from an Army investigator and several emails from the FBI. In an email dated two days after the Long County murders, December 7 of 2011, the investigator indicates that a murder charge should be added and that criteria for the charge had been met “months” ago.

There are also emails dated at the end of September of 2011 in which the FBI has Aguigui on their radar and is keeping track of his actions as he visits Washington (state) which is also his home. Aguigui is observed buying weapons, evidence that the FBI and local prosecutors later used to file gang terrorism charges against Aguigui and the other soliders. The FBI’s does indicate the importance of tracking Aguigui at that time to be “high” and terms its correspondance as “soldier threat to military and public.”

Documents from the U.S. government indicate that the allegations cannot be proven and that the military was iinvestigating Mrs. Aguigui’s death and could not have forseen the additional murders.

There’s also word that the lawsuit may be dismissed because of a law that does not allow the military to be sued. However, other documents show that Roark’s mother is already appealing on behalf or her family and the family of York.

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