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Army soldier charged with murder in death of wife at Schofield Barracks

                                Selena Roth
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Selena Roth

Army Spc. Raul Hernandez Perez was charged by the military today of murdering his wife, Selena Roth, who was found dead in Schofield Barracks housing on Jan. 13, the Army said.

Hernandez Perez, 25, from Naples, Fla., is an intelligence analyst assigned to the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade.

“Our brigade and the Army community are heartbroken by Selena’s death,” Col. Theodore Travis, commander, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade, said in a release. “We have extended our condolences to Selena’s family, friends and loved ones.”

Travis also said, “We will ensure that Spc. Hernandez Perez is treated fairly throughout the judicial process.” A trial date has not been set, the Army said.

Roth, a onetime Army signals intelligence analyst whose death was investigated as a homicide, “fought against domestic violence and military sexual trauma in the military,” her sister said.

Aubrey Rangel wrote on a GoFundMe account that her 25-year-old sister “is leaving behind a beautiful young daughter who will never get the chance to know her mother. She is leaving behind a father and a mother who adored her. No parent should have to bury their child. Selena is leaving behind many siblings (and) we are all grieving for the loss of our baby sister.”

Roth, initially described as an “Army spouse” before her name was released, was found dead at 8 a.m. Jan. 13 in on-post housing by military police conducting a welfare check requested by a family member. Hawaii News Now reported her body was discovered in a trash receptacle.

Special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command arrested a soldier that evening after questioning, and the soldier was placed in pretrial confinement, the Army said. The soldier was not identified at the time.

Court filings show that Roth was in a deteriorating relationship with Hernandez Perez, who filed for divorce Oct. 8. Roth also was facing other issues.

Hernandez Perez sought an order of protection against Roth on Nov. 4 after he said she “threw” a computer tower and other electronic devices and let the air out of his car tires.

Hernandez Perez could not be reached for comment Tuesday. His cellphone immediately went to voicemail, and his mailbox was full.

Roth was medically discharged from the Army in March, Perez said in court papers. Her former husband, a Kaneohe Bay Marine who is the father of Roth’s young daughter, born in 2019, also sought a protection order against Roth, who he said “has anxiety so bad that she throws things and screams obscenities.”

Roth had implied on Facebook that she was the victim of military sexual assault or harassment.

She wrote Dec. 7 on Facebook, more than a month before she died, that her profile picture incorporated the image of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, who went missing from Fort Hood in Texas on April 22.

A soldier who was suspected of killing Guillen at Fort Hood and hiding her body shot and killed himself as police closed in.

The Army later punished 14 leaders at Fort Hood after a review in which Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy cited serious problems at the base, including a command climate that was “permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault,” National Public Radio reported.

“Vanessa Guillen is still my profile picture, not because I’m too lazy to change it, but because what happened to her is an ongoing issue that affects us all,” Roth said on Facebook.

She added, “I know it feels old, I know you’re tired of all of this, but don’t let her death go without consequence.”

Roth added the hashtags #iamvanessaguillen, #metoomilitary, #MeToo and #NeverForget.

Rangel, Roth’s sister, said on the GoFundMe page at bit.ly/3jbG5fL that Roth was “an Army veteran who fought for the rights of female active duty members. She fought against domestic violence and military sexual trauma in the military.”

Rangel said Roth “was a huge advocate” for animals and adopted many. “She would take animal food and feed the homeless animals when she could find them,” Rangel wrote.

An obituary from Brewer and Sons Funeral in Florida said that “the thing that she loved the most was her daughter Nemea.”

Stars and Stripes reported that Roth was laid to rest Monday during a graveside service in Central Florida after her casket was escorted to a funeral home by Patriot Guard Riders.

Roth’s mother, Joanne, had posted her desperate search for her daughter on Facebook, saying, “If anyone has heard from Selena Roth in the last few days, please message me and let me know. We asked the local police to do a welfare check and they have been unable to locate her. … She is still living in Hawaii and we’re feeling pretty helpless so far away. Please pray that she is safe and we hear from her soon.”

Unfortunately, Joanne Roth posted a heartbreaking follow-up hours later on Jan. 13.

“Thank you to everyone for your prayers and good wishes,” she said. “Sadly, the end result was our worst nightmare. Selena was a victim of homicide and found on the property of the apartment.”

Her daughter was seen with someone “at Subway on Sunday and he is being questioned,” she said. Her granddaughter had previously been placed with Child Welfare Services, “so thankfully she is safe,” she said.

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