The father of a Miramar-based Marine, who died after being found unconscious in his barracks last week, believes a head injury from roughhousing is what caused his son’s death.
Alan Bays Sr., father of flight equipment technician Cpl. Alan Bays Jr., 22, said that on about April 16, his son suffered a head injury while training in Yuma, Ariz.
“Apparently, he was in an altercation with one of his buddies," Bays Sr. said in a phone interview from his home in Bowling Green, Ky. "He was hit, and ... the fall (when) he hit his head is what caused extensive injuries.”
Bays Jr. was taken to a Phoenix hospital where he was scanned every day for four days, Bays Sr. said, and when no irregularities were found, he was driven back to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
On April 28, Bays Jr died en route to medical facilities after being found unresponsive. Marine Corps officials released his name Friday.
“I'm thinking more that whoever did it was one of his friends," Bays Sr. said of the head injury. "He did not mean to hurt him. It was just 'we work hard, we play hard.'"
The military ran an investigation about what caused Bays Jr.'s head injury, his father said.
During that investigation, Bays Sr. said his son was confined from friends.
“He was not allowed to speak to them," Bays Sr. said. "He was not allowed to call them (and) they weren't allowed to call him because there was an investigation about the assault, or if it was an assault in Yuma."
Bays Jr. fought in Afghanistan and Iraq during a previous deployment, his father said. He was a member of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The Cincinnati native enlisted in the Marine Corps in Oct. 2007.
Among Bays' personal decorations, he earned a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal for International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, officials said.
Base officials said the cause of death is under investigation and would have no further comment.
Bays Jr. is scheduled to be laid to rest Monday in Bowling Green.
Bays Sr. said military officials told him the results from his son's autopsy were inconclusive.
However, he has made his own conclusion.
"In my mind, he died as a result of an accident while training for redeployment to Afgahnistan," Bays Sr. said. "Period."