The family of a deceased Marine recruit says it has been told by the military that their son died when he ran and jumped over a wall, falling three stories to his death.
In an interview with a Detroit TV station, the family said a casualty report sent to them by Parris Island officials says their son threatened to commit suicide on his first day on base if he were not allowed to leave but later said he was committed to the training and was deemed a low risk to hurt himself.
Raheel Siddiqui, 20, from Taylor, Mich., arrived at Parris Island on March 7 and died 11 days later. The family told Detroit’s WDIV Channel 4 that the report said Siddiqui passed out during a drill and when awakened by a drill instructor he got up and “ran out the back hatch of the squad bay and jumped over the ladderwell wall ... falling 3 stories before landing on the ground.”
His death is currently being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Parris Island office and local military authorities, a process that could require about three weeks, according to Marine spokesman Capt. Greg Carroll.
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Carroll confirmed Tuesday that Siddiqui’s family was given a personnel casualty report but said he could not confirm the contents.
The parents ... can comment and talk about any documents they have received during this difficult time. Whatever helps with the process is completely understandable. But it’s still an investigation, and the final details are still being reviewed by NCIS.
Capt. Greg Carroll
“The parents are allowed, obviously they can comment and talk about, any documents they have received during this difficult time,” Carroll said. “Whatever helps with the process is completely understandable. But it’s still an investigation, and the final details are still being reviewed by NCIS.”
The TV report quotes the family as saying Siddiqui knew what he was getting into and that they are skeptical he would take his own life.
The station aired the report Monday night but its story and video were off its website Tuesday. WDIV news director said the station’s report was accurate, but that the decision was made to unpublish it after a request from the family. Attempts by The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet to reach the family through friends were unsuccessful.
In addition to the three-story fall, WDIV showed excerpts from the casualty report that documented Siddiqui had met with a clinical psychologist on Parris Island.
The station cited the report as saying that, on the first day of training, Siddiqui “told Senior Drill Instructor that ‘this recruit wants to quit and this recruit will commit suicide.’ ”
“Later that day he changed his mind,” WDIV reported, “telling a psychologist he threatened suicide because it ‘was the only way to quit,’ but now he was ‘110 percent motivated to train.’ ”
The psychologist noted, according to WDIV: “ ‘No current diagnosis, was highly motivated to continue Recruit Training, and is currently deemed to be at low risk for harm.’ ”
Siddiqui was a 2014 graduate of Harry S. Truman High School in Taylor, Mich., where he was one of the top-10 students in his class. He was a student worker in the school’s counseling office, and he was handy with computers.
He had hoped to work on airplanes in the Marine Corps.