Reopen the investigation of LaVena Johnson's death

Reopen the investigation of LaVena Johnson's death

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LaVena Johnson was a 19-year-old U.S. Army Private deployed in Iraq when she was tortured, raped, and murdered by her fellow soldiers. 

The U.S. Department of Defense ruled her death a suicide, but provided no explanations for her physical wounds: deep bite marks, loose teeth, a black eye, scratch marks on her neck, a broken nose, third-degree burns on her hands that were covered by glued-on white gloves, acid poured on her vagina, a bullet wound in her head, and more. The military's autopsy only reported injuries to her lip and teeth and scratch marks on her neck. A second autopsy paid for by CBS revealed that "LaVena's neck was broken. Parts of her vagina, tongue, and anus had been removed."

The Army said LaVena shot herself in the head with a government-issued M16 rifle, which was more than 3 feet long. LaVena was 5'1". The bullet wound was on the left side of her head and she was right-handed. The bullet wound looked more consistent with one caused by a 9 mm, and the bullet "was never found." Residue tests conducted by the military suggest no evidence of LaVena actually touching the M16, and there was a trail of blood outside her tent.

There have been multiple articles, podcasts, and documentaries about LaVena and her death, but the military still has not reopened her case. Because this is a presumed violent murder and sexual assault, there is no statute of limitations applied to LaVena's death.

We can still get justice for LaVena and prosecute her murderers if we reopen her case and demand further investigation into this obvious foul play.