Crime & Courts

RNE graduate slain at Fort Bragg

Iris Armstrong
Iris Armstrong

The FBI is searching for a man charged with killing his wife, a 2010 Richland Northeast High School graduate and a soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division.

The FBI is is offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Jason Earl Armstrong Jr. The bureau said Armstrong, 27, killed his wife, Iris Armstrong of Columbia and is wanted on a charge of murder.

Iris Armstrong’s body was found July 6 in the couple’s home on Fort Bragg, an Army base in North Carolina. The FBI said Jason Earl Armstrong killed her July 1.

Iris Armstrong was stabbed and beaten, according to her death certificate, the Fayetteville Observer newspaper reported. The state Medical Examiner ruled her death was caused by sharp and blunt force injuries, it said.

Iris Armstrong’s children, Jason Earl Armstrong III, and Ivan Lorenzo Armstrong, are safe, the FBI said in a press release.

Armstrong was seen on a surveillance video using Iris Armstrong’s debit card shortly after her death, the FBI said. He has ties to Columbia, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Dallas and Amarillo in Texas, the FBI said.

Jason Earl Armstrong is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 150 pounds. The FBI said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on his location is asked to call the bureau’s Charlotte office at 1 (704) 672-6100.

Iris Armstrong joined the Army in October 2012. She was a human resources specialist assigned to the 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, according to her obituary.

Lt. Col. Jeremy St. Laurent, the battalion’s commander, told the Observer that Armstrong was an outstanding soldier and well-liked.

“Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to her family, friends and loved ones during this very difficult time,” he was quoted as saying last week.

Armstrong earned several awards and decorations, including the Army Achievement Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

She was one of five children born to Gerald and Crystal Smith.

Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Palmer Memorial Chapel, 1200 Fontaine Place, Columbia. Funeral service are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at First Northeast Baptist Church, 311 Sparkleberry Lane, Columbia.

Armstrong is survived by her two sons, her parents and four brothers and sisters.