The mother of Army Staff Sgt. Amy Seyboth Tirador said she will not rest until she discovers the truth about how her daughter died in a noncombat incident on a secure Army base in Iraq in November.
“Let’s get the truth out here. That is what this is all about, the truth for Amy and for all the other female soldiers who have gone through the same circumstances Amy went through,” said Colleen Murphy of Colonie. Tirador was born and raised in Colonie.
Murphy is scheduled to speak with U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., today to discuss her daughter’s investigation. If necessary, Murphy said, she will go to Iraq to find out what happened.
Murphy said the Army told her its investigation into Amy’s death could take up to a year to complete. “I personally will get to the bottom of that before then,” she said. “It will not be easy, it will be hard. Amy’s spirit and her faith will guide me and all of us to the truth.”
Chris Grey, chief of public affairs with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, said the military is thoroughly investigating Tirador’s case, but as a matter of policy does not release details during an ongoing case.
“When appropriate, we will release case facts and [people] will be able to request a full copy of the redacted investigation from the U.S. Army Crime Records Center when the case is closed,” he said.
Murphy said she wants to know what happened “so Amy and everybody can have some peace. She was a top-notch soldier, a highly decorated soldier with a big heart.”
Tirador was found dead Nov. 4 inside a building within the perimeter of the Army’s Camp Caldwell in Kirkush. She had been shot in the back of the head, Murphy said. Tirador disappeared after she left her living quarters at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 to walk to her work as an Arabic-speaking military intelligence gatherer on the base, her mother said.
“The investigation at this point is either a homicide or a suicide. And I know Amy did not kill herself. There is no evidence of any sign or form of suicide, no note. This girl was looking forward to what she was planning on doing when she got out in 10 months,” Murphy said.
Tirador, a career solider, was expected to return next year to Fort Lewis in Washington after her third tour of duty overseas. She and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Michael “Mickey” Tirador, had bought a house and were planning a family, Murphy said. They had been married for three years.
“She still had a lot to give to the Army,” Murphy said.
She said her daughter is not the only female soldier who died on a secure American military base. “They were shot in the head and either the cases were closed as suicide or the cases are still open,” she said.
“This is much bigger than Amy. All of a sudden I am coming up with women in the military losing their lives on a secure American base,” Murphy said.
Tirador received the Bronze Star for heroism, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (three awards), Army Good Conduct Medal (two awards), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon (two awards) and Combat Medical Badge.
She was assigned to the 209th Military Intelligence Company, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at the time of her death.
Tirador was buried in the Gerald B.H. Solomon National Cemetery in the town of Saratoga.
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