Army officials at Fort Carson are attempting to figure out how seven years' worth of one brigade combat team's legal records, including soldiers' personal information, ended up in a field in a town south of the Colorado post.
KOAA-TV, the local NBC affiliate, said its staff recovered the files along a dirt track in Fountain, Colorado, while pursuing a separate story and reached out to installation officials. Special agents with Army Criminal Investigation Command took possession of the records Sept. 14, the station reported, and "all known records involved in this incident have been recovered and secured," according to a statement from Fort Carson.
The thousands of pages of records involving "legal actions" with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, from 2008 to 2014, were supposed to have been destroyed, per the statement. KOAA reported that the files contained Social Security numbers and financial records, as well as reports on criminal investigations ranging from unpaid debts to hate crimes to drug deals to rape.
Investigators have identified a DoD employee as a suspect in the case, a Fort Carson spokeswoman told Army Times, confirming local media reports. The investigation is ongoing, although installation officials have labeled it an isolated incident.
Individuals who believe their personal information could be included in the files have been asked to contact Fort Carson via the Commanding General's Hotline, online at http://www.carson.army.mil/cg-hotline.php or via phone at 719-526-2677. Officials will "make all efforts to assist impacted individuals," the statement says.