(FORT LEWIS, Wash.) -- After an internal investigation, the Army has issued a statement saying the parents of a soldier charged with murdering unarmed Afghans never called the Army's inspector general. The Army acknowledges Christopher and Emma Winfield did call several numbers at their son's Army base in the U.S., and had an extended conversation with someone at the base's command center, but says the Winfields failed to leave a message with the criminal investigations unit at the base.
The Winfields had claimed in an interview with ABC News that in February they warned the Army by phone that soldiers in their son Adam's unit were thrill-killing civilians. One of the murders with which Winfield and four other soldiers are now charged took place after the calls.
"The Army takes very seriously recent media reporting in which the father of Spc. Adam Winfield said he alerted the Army to allegations of crimes by Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan," said the Army's statement. "We have not yet found any evidence to indicate Mr. Winfield called the office of the Army's Inspector General."
"We examined the phone records of the Winfield family, with their consent. Based on this examination we have determined that another federal agency's Inspector General was called by mistake." The Winfields had claimed in their interview with ABC News that they called the Army Inspector General's office.
The Army also confirms, however, that the Winfields "called the headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as media reports have stated."
A review of the Winfields' phone records by ABC News shows they called four different numbers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, including the command center, the main phone, the chapel and criminal investigations, also known as CID. CID is responsible for investigating alleged criminal acts by Army personnel.
In a follow-up statement to ABC News, Army spokesman Tom Collins said, "The evidence shows that he called several numbers on a Sunday. He spoke to one individual for approximately 12 minutes. He did call the Army Criminal Investigations Division, but he did not leave a message and did not follow a prompt to call the 24-hour MP desk."
Collins said the conversation Winfield had was with someone at the Lewis-McChord Command Center. He declined to discuss the specifics of that conversation because the matter is still under investigation.
Phone records also show that the Winfields called an investigations number at CIA headquarters in Virginia.
At the time of the alleged murders, Adam Winfield and the other soldiers were serving at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan. On a videotaped confession obtained by ABC News, one of the soldiers, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, described how his Sergeant, Calvin Gibbs, had the men in his unit pick out civilians at random and then kill them with grenades and rifle fire.
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