Murder-Suicide Involves Army Recruiter, Teen Recruit (+Video)
A military recruiter who police say fatally shot a teenage girl he signed up for the Army Reserve before committing suicide was a nine-year veteran who had served overseas, the Army said Tuesday.
Staff Sgt. Adam Arndt, 31, was found dead of a gunshot wound Monday morning inside his Germantown, Md., home. Also dead was Michelle Miller, 17, a senior at Rockville High School. Police believe Arndt fatally shot Miller, who was signed up to enter the Army Reserve after graduation, before killing himself. A handgun was found at the home, police said.
Miller's father, Kevin Miller, told The Associated Press on Monday night that he had not met Arndt but that his daughter had seemed “a little smitten with this guy.” He said she met him about four or five months ago.
Kevin Miller said his daughter left their Rockville home Sunday night, saying somebody in her platoon was suicidal. He said she stopped responding to his calls and text messages.
Army recruiters are barred from fraternizing with recruits, a restriction that includes dating, inviting recruits to their homes or having any kind of personal relationship that would place undue influence on a recruit, said Kathleen Welker, a spokeswoman for the Army Recruiting Command.
Arndt, a native of Manitowoc, Wis., joined the Army in October 2003. He was deployed to Turkey from September 2009 to September 2010, and his decorations include a medal for service in the global war on terrorism. He also served in Korea and Germany, according to personnel records released by the Army.
He was working as a human resources specialist before he was detailed in January 2011 to the recruiting office in Columbia, Md., Welker said. Such assignments typically last three years, after which soldiers can decide whether to become permanent recruiters or return to their previous occupations.
His duties would have included visiting schools, Welker said, although it was not clear Tuesday whether he had visited Rockville High School. The investigation remains active and is focused on “determining how these two people died,” said Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman.
Dana Tofig, a county schools spokesman, said military recruiters routinely visit the county's schools. The school system's focus, he said, was helping those who knew Miller. Grief counselors were visiting her classmates on Tuesday.
Kevin Miller said his daughter was excited to join the military and planned to use it to finance her college education.
“She had her life taken away from her on one fell swoop,” he said.