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Suspect arrested in the 2001 killing of a pregnant soldier at a former U.S. Army base in Germany

Pfc. Amanda Gonzalez was four months pregnant and on her first assignment with the Army when she was found dead in November 2001.

A former member of the armed forces was arrested Thursday in Florida in the death of a pregnant soldier at a former U.S. Army base in Germany more than two decades ago, authorities said.

Shannon Wilkerson, 42, was charged with one count of first-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2001, killing of Pfc. Amanda Gonzales, 19, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

Gonzales, who was four months pregnant at the time of her death, was found on Nov. 5 in her third-floor barracks room at Fliegerhorst Kasern, then an Army base near Hanau, Germany, after she failed to report for work, the FBI said.

Amanda Gonzales.
Amanda Gonzales.FBI

Gonzales died by asphyxiation, the agency said. She was on her first assignment for the Army and had been assigned to Headquarters Supply Company of the 127th Aviation Support battalion as a cook, the FBI said.

Wilkerson was discharged from the Army in 2004, according to an indictment filed in federal court in Florida's Northern District. The document says he was discharged from the Army Reserve three years later.

A possible motive was not identified in the document and additional details about the alleged crime or either discharge were not immediately available. A lawyer for Wilkerson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.

The Army could not immediately be reached for comment early Friday.

Wilkerson made an initial court appearance Thursday and pleaded not guilty, a court filing shows. A detention hearing is scheduled for March 3.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.