UPDATE: Ft. Hood soldier and wife killed in murder-suicide - KXXV Central Texas News Now

FORT HOOD

UPDATE: Ft. Hood soldier and wife killed in apparent murder-suicide

FORT HOOD - Fort Hood officials are investigating a rash of suicides in recent days, including the apparent murder-suicide of a soldier and his wife.

The incidents come as the central Texas Army post reports a record number of soldiers taking their own lives. According to figures released Tuesday, 14 suicides and six more suspected suicides have been reported so far this year among soldiers stationed at Fort Hood. Fort Hood reported 11 suicides in all of 2009.

"It is frustrating that so many Fort Hood Soldiers have decided to take their own lives," Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, Fort Hood senior commander, said. "Leaders at all levels remain deeply concerned about this trend and are looking for innovative ways to better support Soldiers and their families to reverse this pattern. Too many of our Soldiers are seeking a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

On Sunday, 31-year-old Sgt. Michael Timothy Franklin and his wife, Jessie Ann Franklin, were found shot dead in their Fort Hood home. Army officials are investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

They had a 6-year-old daughter, and 2-year-old son. The children are currently being cared for by Fort Hood's child protective services.

Two soldiers died Saturday in unrelated apparent suicides, including a veteran of four tours in Iraq. A fourth soldier was found dead Friday.

Michael Franklin, 31, of Middletown, R.I., joined the Army in August 2005 as a motor transport operator. He was assigned to Fort Hood in October 2005 and was currently assigned to 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from October 2006 to January 2008 and February 2009 to January 2010.

His awards and decorations include Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver - Wheeled Vehicles.

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