A 20-year-old soldier assigned to the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, died Monday after first responders found her unresponsive in her barracks room, according to a Fort Bliss press release.
Pvt. Marriah Pouncy’s death “is believed to be an isolated incident,” the release said. Investigators do not suspect foul play, it added.
However, local news media reported that Pouncy was in a romantic relationship with Pfc. Asia Graham, a fellow Fort Bliss soldier who also died in her barracks room Dec. 31. Graham’s death was caused by ingesting a mixture of fentanyl and synthetic cannabinoids.
KVIA, a local ABC affiliate, reported that Pouncy and Graham were engaged, citing a conversation with Graham’s mother.
Pouncy was also listed as a potential witness in last week’s court-martial of Pfc. Christian Alvarado, who was sentenced to more than 18 years of confinement for sexually assaulting Graham. Pouncy was not called to testify, though, according to another local news outlet, KSTM.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Pvt. Marriah Pouncy,” said Col. Geoffrey Whittenberg, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade commander, in a prepared statement. “Her loss is not just felt within our formation, but across the Army.”
Fort Bliss officials confirmed that Pouncy did not testify at the court-martial when reached by Army Times.
Lt. Col. Allie Payne, a 1st Armored Division spokesperson, said the command would not confirm Pouncy’s personal relationships, adding that this policy stood “not just in this particular case, but for any service member.”
Pouncy’s family declined to comment when reached via Facebook by Army Times.
The deceased soldier was a human resources specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, according to the release. She completed a tour in South Korea before reporting to Fort Bliss in December 2019.
Pouncey hailed from Chinle, Arizona.
“We ask that during these challenging times that you continue to reach out to your fellow soldiers and families as we grieve the loss of our Iron Soldier. Chaplains, behavioral health professionals, and other resources are available to help during this grieving process,” said Whittenberg, her brigade commander.
Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.