Report: Army investigating death of solider from NYC

October 11, 2011 3:06:16 PM PDT
The United States Army is investigating the non-combat death of a soldier from New York City.

Private Danny Chen, from Chinatown, died in Afghanistan last week.

A mother's anguish is universal and painful in any language.

Danny Chen's parents speak Cantonese.

The 19-year-old's father, a Chinatown restaurant worker and his wife were determined to give their boy the opportunities they never had.

Danny joined the army right after graduating from high school.

His parents spoke about him to Eyewitness News through a family interpreter.

"His ambition was to be a policeman and army is one of the steps he could take," said Frank Gee, the family's translator.

Danny Chen was deployed to Afghanistan just two months ago.

Last week, his parents received the message that he was dead, but not from a combat injury.

The army still hasn't released his cause of death.

"Before he died there was harassment involved. They accused him of not taking off the faucet. One of the cousins spoke to whoever it was on the other end saying that he was harassed, dragged out of bed, and beaten," Gee said.

The parents say their son had never expressed any concerns about bullying and was never depressed.

He did suffer a gunshot wound to the chin.

"Do they believe someone killed him," Eyewitness News reporter Sarah Wallace asked.

"Yes," Gee said.

"They don't believe he committed suicide," Wallace said.

"No," Gee replied.

"They believe that he was murdered," Wallace said.

"Yes. They have no proof but they believe that is the case," Gee said.

"Are they angry at the army?" Wallace asked.

"No, not angry. They are a little confused and still don't understand how it could happen," Gee said.