Officials have ruled a suicide after the commanding officer of a Marine Forces Reserve unit was discovered dead earlier this month.
The Marine Corps was notified of the death of Lt. Col. Adam L. Collier, commanding officer of 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, on March 11, officials with MarForRes told Military.com. The battalion, which falls under the 4th Marine Division, is based in San Antonio, Texas.
A spokeswoman for MarForRes, 1st. Lt. Stephanie Leguizamon, said police were investigating the circumstances surrounding Collier's death.
Officials with Hermosa Beach Police Department, near Collier's Los Angeles home of record, said the investigation has now been closed, with the Los Angeles coroner's office ruling Collier's death a suicide.
A source told Military.com that Collier held a civilian position as an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles.
According to information provided to Military.com, Collier, 42, entered the Corps in 1998 and was promoted to his current rank in 2015.
He deployed three times: to Iraq and Kuwait in 2004; to Iraq from 2009 to 2010; and to Afghanistan in 2011.
His awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, according to his records. Prior to commanding 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, he served with 3rd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, out of Bell, California.
"We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Lt. Col. Adam Collier," Leguizamon said in a statement on behalf of Marine Forces Reserve. "The Marine Corps stands ready to support them in every way we can during this difficult time."
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
On Monday, Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, said Samantha Dooies, an assistant to the New Hanover County District Attorney.
Evans must complete 18 months of unsupervised probation, pay $8,000 in restitution, complete a domestic violence offenders program, and he cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend, Dooies told Task & Purpose. The special operations Marine is also only allowed to have access to firearms though the military while on base or deployed.