Police identify body of camper on Freeman Park as US Army officer

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Tania Nichole Dunbar died at Freeman Park on Sunday. Photo courtesy Sparta--An LGBT Military Organization.
Tania Nichole Dunbar died at Freeman Park on Sunday. Photo courtesy Sparta–An LGBT Military Organization.

A U.S. Army officer who recently returned from a deployment in Kuwait died while camping on the beach strand of Freeman Park on Sunday.

The body of Chief Warrant Officer Tania Nichole Dunbar, 40, was found at a camp site on the north end of Carolina Beach at about 9:20 a.m. Sunday, according to Lt. Harry Humphries, Carolina Beach’s interim police chief.

Town manager Michael Cramer said no foul play was suspected in Dunbar’s death. An autopsy is scheduled Tuesday.

“She fell and hit her head on the truck door handle,” Cramer said.

Read related story: Camper found dead at Freeman Park on Sunday

Dunbar was a founding member of SPARTA–An LGBT Military Organization, according to Christopher Hooper, membership director for the organization.

“Tania Dunbar was an incredible person with a huge heart,” Hooper said. “Her contributions to the LGBT community are numerous and she was well respected. Her contributions to SPARTA are a fully functioning organization that is the premier organization for transgender service. She was my role model and someone who I aspire to be like. Her loss is being felt at all levels of SPARTA and no one will ever know the full depth of our sorrows.

“She was a mother, sister, friend, lover, LGBT rights activist, but most of all, one hell of a soldier.”

She is survived by her wife and two children, according to Hooper.

A U.S. Army public affairs officer declined to comment on Dunbar’s death, saying the Army would not release any information until after family notifications were made.