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Suicide Confirmed In Death Of Idaho Army National Guard Soldier


A man found dead near a vehicle parked at the Idaho National Guard's Orchard Combat Training Center has been identified. Private first Class Erik Jorgensen was a member of the Idaho Army National Guard.

The coroner’s office has confirmed it was a suicide.

Colonel Tim Marsano is a spokesman for the Idaho Army National Guard. He says two  Guard members went looking for Jorgensen after he sent a distressing note to people he knew last Thursday, but they were unable to find him.

Marsano could not comment on whether Jorgensen was ever diagnosed or being treated for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But he says that before coming to the National Guard Jorgensen was with the Army, and did a tour in Afghanistan.

“Private First Class Jorgensen came to the Idaho Army National Guard in August of 2011,"  Marsano says. "But he had served for at least three years on active duty with the U.S. Army and part of that service was in Afganistan from 2009-2010. So he was a combat veteran.”

Jorgensen was found on the west side of the 140,000 acre training range near Boise.  He was not on military duty and he was not in uniform at the time of his death.

"We want to do everything that we can to try to take care of our men and women, whether or not they happen to be in a military status when we find out something is amiss," says Marsano. "I really feel like we did everything that we could. It's just a very very sad day for us here at the Idaho National Guard." 

Originally from Coeur d'Alene, Jorgensen's family created a Facebook page last week when he went missing. On that Facebook page today, his mother posted: "It is with the greatest sadness of our life to have to share that our sweet boy spread his wings and flew to God's protective arms where the sun always shines and there is no pain. God keep my baby protected until we meet again."


Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.