Police chief: US Army officer died of natural causes at Freeman Park

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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 was found dead Sunday morning at Freeman Park died of natural causes, according to a preliminary autopsy report.

Capt. Harry Humphries, Carolina Beach’s interim police chief, said the body of 40-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Tania Nichole Dunbar was found at about 9:20 a.m. Sunday.

Initially, Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer said officials believed she fell and hit her head on a truck door handle.

Based on the preliminary autopsy, she likely died around midnight, Humphries said. A pre-existing medical condition could have contributed to her death.

Read related story: Police identify body of camper found on Freeman Park as US Army officer

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.