Rep. Debbie Dingell seeks answers in Michigan recruit’s death
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is calling for a probe into the recent death of a Taylor man at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in South Carolina.
Raheel Siddiqui was taking part in basic training when he fell nearly 40 feet in a stairwell on Parris Island last month.
Navy investigators have said there were no apparent signs of foul play in the recruit’s death. However, Naval Criminal Investigative Service spokesman Ed Buice said investigations usually take several months.
Dingell, D-Dearborn, said Thursday she had sent a letter to U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Robert B. Neller earlier this month seeking clarification on the circumstances surrounding the death.
“The family of Private Raheel Siddiqui deserves to understand all of the facts and circumstances surrounding his tragic death,” she said in a statement. “We are working to ensure that this investigation is carried out in a thorough, detailed and exhaustive manner, and I continue to speak with the appropriate people at the Marine Corps to ensure this occurs. ... It is very important that we have a full picture of what happened.
“I am awaiting a written response to my letter dated April 4, 2016, which will provide some sense of when we can expect a full report and any appropriate action following this tragedy.”
Each year about 19,000 recruits spend 12 weeks in basic training on Parris Island. The depot trains male recruits from east of the Mississippi River and all female recruits.
In her statement Thursday, Dingell described Siddiqui as “an intelligent, loyal, patriotic young Muslim man — and class valedictorian — who loved his country, and I have been deeply touched at the overwhelming number of people who have reached out to me who knew him, attended school with him, or worked with him. Each one has told me that all he wanted to do was serve the country that had been so good to him and protect the freedoms we hold dear.”