An Army veteran who was arrested after she shot and killed her service dog on video has been found dead. Police are investigating her death as a possible suicide.
Marinna Rollins, 23, was found dead in her Fayetteville, North Carolina, apartment Sunday morning, the Fayetteville Observer reports.
Rollins and her boyfriend, active duty soldier Jarren Heng, 25, were arrested last month after Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the Facebook video showing the dog’s death, the newspaper reports.
The disturbing video showed Rollins and Heng tying the dog, named both Huey and Camboui, to a tree before shooting him five times and burying him, police said. Animal advocates spread the story about the dog’s death on social media, calling for “Justice for Cam” in a Facebook group.
A cause of death for Rollins has not yet been made public. Heng is still facing criminal charges and is free on bail pending trial.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rollins Posted on Facebook Cam Was Going to a ‘New Home’ Before Uploading Videos Showing Her & Heng Shooting & Burying the Service Dog
Marinna Rollins’ estranged husband, Matt, who is also in the military, adopted the dog from the Cumberland County Animal Shelter in January 2016 and named him Huey, WCSH-TV reports. The Maine news station spoke to her husband and sister before her death. Rollins and her husband are both originally from Windham, Maine.
When her husband was deployed to South Korea, he left Huey with her, he told the news station. He left the dog with her to watch while he was overseas for a year. While he was in Korea, her husband said Rollins contacted him and said she had changed the dog’s name to Camboui, calling him Cam, and had registered him as an emotional support animal. She said she had become attached to the dog and didn’t want to give him back.
Matt, Rollins’ ex-husband, said when he returned to North Carolina, he was not able to take the dog back because he moved into an apartment, according to the news station. He told WCSH he saw on Facebook on April 15 that Rollins and her boyfriend, Jarren Heng, were looking for someone to take the dog. He then said she told him the dog was taken to a shelter.
Rollins and Heng also posted on Facebook about the dog, with Rollins writing, “great last day with the pooch! Sad he has to go but he will be much happier where he is heading off to :).” Heng replied, “he’s gonna have such a great new life.”
According to police, the dog was killed between April 16 and 17. Video showing the dog being shot dead and then buried was uploaded by Rollins, police said.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEOS BELOW, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED
The first video, which you can watch below, shows Cam tied to a tree while Rollins, shirtless and wearing camo pants, stands near him with a gun. She asks Heng, who is recording, “tell me when,” and he replies, “go ahead.” She cocks the gun and shoots Cam at close range. As Cam moans, Heng says, “get him,” and she shoots the dog four more times. Heng then says, “let me hit him, let me hit him once,” and they begin laughing. “Oh shit, that’s his nerves going,” Rollins says as the dog twitches on the ground and the video ends.
In the second video, Rollins can be seen laughing as she fires several shots into Cam’s dead body. Heng then says “goodbye Cam” and Rollins says, “good night.”
The third video shows Rollins dragging Cam’s body to a spot where they are burying him, covering the dog with a blanket. She can be heard saying, “It’s been real Cammy, I love you, you’re my puppy, you’re a good puppy, but…”
Heng then tells Rollins to bury the dog “deeper in there” and tells her “good job” before shutting off the camera.
Her sister contacted authorities about the video on April 19, WCSH-TV reports, and an investigation was launched. Court documents show that the dog was Rollins’ service dog and that the microchip had been changed to show her as the owner. But her husband’s name remained on the adoption papers.
“I want people to know Huey’s real story – not what they’re getting from Marinna and Jarren – someone who actually knows what happened,” Matt told WCSH-TV. “They’re just going to say whatever keeps them in the least amount of trouble.”
Matt, who asked that his last name not be used, said Rollins and Heng did not own a rifle, and purchased the gun specifically to kill the dog.
“They didn’t just get drunk and decide to kill Huey,” Matt told Popular Military. “This was premeditated, they had planned this.”
2. The Pair Were Both Charged With Animal Cruelty & Released on $25,000 Bail
Rollins and Heng were arrested on April 25 on charges of felony animal cruelty and conspiracy. They were both booked into the Cumberland County Jail and held on $25,000 bail.
According to WCSH-TV, Rollins and Heng learned they were wanted on the charges on April 24. Matt, Rollins’ estranged husband, told the news station he received a drunken phone call that day from Rollins, who said she needed to go to jail and might hurt herself. Matt said he found Rollins and she began throwing things, wiped ice cream on her face and threatened to use a razor on herself. Matt called 911 and police were able to take Rollins to a hospital, where she was placed on suicide watch. She was transferred to jail the next day.
Heng surrendered to police later on April 25. Rollins and Heng were both later released from custody after posting bond and making initial court appearances, according to police.
Police told the Portland Press-Herald that Rollins was found dead Sunday morning at her apartment after her friends were unable to contact her. Officers went to check on her and found her deceased. An investigation into her death is ongoing.
“There was evidence that our detectives were able to locate that suggested this was a suicide,” Fayetteville Police Lieutenant Todd Joyce told the newspaper.
3. Rollins Received a Medical Retirement Form the Army in January & Was Being Treated for PTSD
Marinna Rollins, a native of Windham, Maine, had been stationed at Fort Bragg after joining the Army in 2014, the Army Times reports. She was a multimedia illustrator, the military newspaper reports.
Rollins was separated from the military in January 2017 on a medical retirement, according to the Army Times.
Matt, her estranged husband, told WCSH-TV that the two were a year apart at Windham High School in Maine, and had been dating before they joined the military.
“In high school, she was the goth-emo girl,” he told Popular Military. “I was a star football player.”
Matt began dating her in 2013, while he was already in the military and she was pursuing a career in the Army, he told Popular Military. Matt said Rollins had been expelled from a college in New York after being involved in a domestic dispute.
She was deployed to Korea in September 2014 for a year, and they married shortly before she left, he said. The couple had been separated since February 2015, but became friendly again shortly before his own deployment to Korea, leading to his decision to leave his dog with her.
According to her husband, Rollins was stationed at Camp Casey in Dongducheon for about four months before she was forced home early. He and Rollins’ sister told WCSH that she suffered a “traumatic event,” which they declined to go into detail about, while serving overseas. It left her “emotionally troubled.” Matt said Rollins returned from Korea as a “different person” and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and four other personality disorders.
An Army veteran, Joshua Parham, posted on Facebook after Rollins’ death that he was assaulted by her while they were serving together in Korea. He said Rollins had already suffered a trauma before the incident involving him, which he had since forgave her for.
“I was focusing on the Army and showing what’s going on in the Army on helping people and sexual assault,” Parham said about what he was doing in Korea when the incident involving Rollins occurred. “I am writing this to show my actions are against the Army not her. Marianna Rollins news of her killing herself has a big effect on me and I just pray she has peace.”
Parham wrote, “This is a case where the Army just let her go with meds and didn’t really help and let her get by with things and she never thought she would be in trouble Army that’s your fault.”
Matt told the news station that Rollins began dating Heng at some point around her medical retirement from the Army. He said that’s when things started going downhill for her.
Matt said Heng believes “he’s the most important person in the world” and was very controlling of Rollins, he told the news station.
“I’ve listened to the way he talks to her and it’s disgusting,” Matt told the news station. “Her attraction to Jarren is that they share similar personalities, and she identifies with that.”
He told Popular Military that Heng hated the dog.
“I think he convinced Marinna to get rid of Huey,” he said.
4. Heng Is Assigned to a Unit Within the Army Special Operations Command Stationed at Fort Bragg
Specialist Jarren Heng is assigned to a unit within the Army Special Operations Command based at Fort Bragg, the Army Times reports. Colonel Robert Bockholt declined to tell the military newspaper his unit or military occupational speciality. Bockholt also did not say when Heng enlisted in the Army.
It is not clear if Heng has faced, or will face, military discipline in addition to the state criminal charges filed against him.
Heng is due in court on May 16. He faces up to 44 months in prison if convicted of both charges.
5. He Was a Track Star at the University of Nebraska Before Joining the Military
Heng is originally from Norfolk, Nebraska, according to the Norfolk Daily News. He graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School in 2010, where he was a track star.
In high school, Heng led Norfolk Catholic’s cross country team to four straight state titles and was the team’s top runner, while also winning two state titles in track.
Heng went on to attend the University of Nebraska, where he was a member of the Huskers cross country team, according to the school’s website. He was named the team’s most valuable runner in 2012, his junior season, before an injury plagued senior year.
According to the Huskers website, Heng was a Spanish major. He received Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2011 and 2013, and the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2013.