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Female soldier missing, home burned

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Missing soldier's family: You can hardly believe that it could happen to you
  • She said in court filing her husband threatened her, WRAL reports
  • Authorities were called to fire at 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc's apartment Thursday
  • Fire, apparently arson, had gone out, but Wimunc was missing, police say
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(CNN) -- Authorities are searching for a female soldier, missing after a fire at her apartment near Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

A car is towed from the complex where police are investigating Wimunc's disappearance and a fire.

Fayetteville, North Carolina, police released this undated photo of 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc.

Investigators Thursday morning found evidence of arson at the Fayetteville apartment of 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc, 24.

A neighbor, Roland Petty, told CNN affiliate WRAL-TV that he saw a man running from the area on Wednesday night and smelled smoke, although he didn't associate it with the building at the time.

In a court filing for a protective order, Wimunc said that in May her husband had knocked her down, held a loaded gun to her head and then threatened to commit suicide, WRAL reported. Video Watch police at work at Wimunc's complex »

The court documents indicate that John Wimunc is a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, the station reported.

A Camp Lejeune spokesman told WRAL that police had spoken to John Wimunc on Thursday about his wife's disappearance.

"I haven't seen any violence. I know [Wimunc's husband] was not living here anymore, but that's all I know," a neighbor told WTVD-TV, another CNN affiliate.

Both stations reported that Holley Wimunc's car was still in the parking lot at the apartment.

Her disappearance is considered a missing person case.

Holley Wimunc's family, from Dubuque, Iowa, released a statement Friday saying they are "still trying to absorb the impact of this week's stunning events."

"First and foremost, our concern is for our daughter, Holley -- that she will be found and restored to us," the James family wrote.

"When you read about or watch television news reports of incidents like this, you can hardly believe that it could happen to you. But it has -- we are so grateful for the thoughts, support and prayers of friends today -- something we're leaning on heavily right now."

The family said they would not be making any further comments, citing the investigation.

No one was inside the apartment at the time of the fire, police said.

Wimunc is assigned to Charlie Company, Womack Army Hospital at Fort Bragg, police said.

A statement from Fort Bragg said Wimunc is a nurse from Lafayette, Louisiana, who works at the hospital's mother and baby ward.

"Womack Army Medical Center staff is very concerned about our soldier and her safety," Col. Terry Walters, commander of WAMC, said in the statement. "The staff and members of her unit are being supported by the command and with counseling available through our unit chaplains."

The blaze comes nearly three weeks after the body of a pregnant soldier was found in a hotel near Fort Bragg.


Spc. Megan Lynn Touma , 23, was seven months pregnant at the time of her death, authorities said.

Investigators say they are treating Touma's death as a homicide.

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