Military investigators have made an arrest in the shooting death of a sailor on sentry duty at Camp Pendleton. They say that despite information that the sailor was said to be openly gay, it doesn't appear the killing was a hate crime.
August Provost, a 29-year-old Navy Seaman stationed at Camp Pendleton, was found dead early Tuesday in a guard shack at the Assault Craft Unit Five compound.
"In the course of standing his watch he suffered gunshot wounds, and a fire was set at the sentry station in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence," military investigators said in a release issued Saturday. The body was not gagged, bound or mutilated when it was found according to investigators.
A sailor was taken into custody Thursday as a suspect but has not been identified. He is being held at the Navy Brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, according to investigators.
Local gay activists say they have credible information Provost was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime. Two members of Congress have demanded a full and complete investigation.
Kaether Cordero says he was Provost's lover and partner. Cordero says Provost did not hide his sexual orientation, and that could have been the motive for his murder.
"It's like a part of me is missing. I'm never going to get that part back," said Cordero.
"I mean we have got to know what led to this, what the exact extent of the crime was, who did it and why," said Filner. "And I don't trust the military to give us this without pressure."
"It is critically important to know the motive behind this death, which I hope will be fully investigated," said Congresswoman Susan Davis.
The U.S. Navy said its Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is working around the clock with experts from around the country to help solve this crime.
"On behalf of the entire Navy family and local community, I want to express our deepest sorrow at the loss of Seaman Provost. For his family, his friends, his shipmates and community we extend our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers. We have lost an outstanding Sailor, friend, brother and son, and we are working diligently to ensure justice is served and to bring some peace to those who loved and cared for Seaman Provost," Capt. Matt Brown, director of public affairs for Navy Region Southwest, said in a news release.