Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, whose body was found Saturday morning, June 21, 2008, in a Fayetteville, N.C., motel room. Police have ruled the death suspicious. A former commander says the pregnant soldier was excited to be mother. (AP PHOTO)
Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, was seven months pregnant when her body was found in a motel.
Lt. Col. John Clearwater, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, told CNN affiliate WRAL that the person of interest is a training student at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School located at nearby Fort Bragg.
News of the development came Saturday as a local newspaper reported that it had received a letter from someone purporting to be Spc. Megan Lynn Touma's killer -- and claiming an infamous serial killer as a role model.
However, Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine told CNN affiliate WNCN, "I do not believe there is a serial killer on the loose in Fayetteville." Watch how the letter's author taunted police »
WNCN also reported that police had searched the home of a person who may be linked to Touma's death. Police would not divulge the home's owner or location but said officials are ready to "start the analysis of many items that were taken from the suspect's home."
Authorities discovered the body of 23-year-old Touma in a Fayetteville, North Carolina, motel room June 21 after receiving a report of a strong odor coming from one of the motel rooms. Touma was seven months pregnant.
Motel employees told the police that there was a "Do Not Disturb" sign on Touma's door for four days before she was found, according to local media reports.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, police are also investigating a letter, dated June 17, sent to the newspaper by a person claiming responsibility for Touma's death.
The letter's author included in the letter the name of the hotel, room number and date Touma was found. It also mocked Fayetteville police, saying, "I basically, sat there and watch while investigaters were on site." Investigators was misspelled in the letter.
The author also wrote, "It was a master piece. I Confess, that I have killed many times before in several states, but now I will start using my role-model's signature. There will be many more to come." Read the letter »
The letter has a circle with a cross in it, the same symbol used by the Zodiac Killer, who was responsible for at least five deaths in California in 1968 and 1969. The Zodiac Killer was never identified.
The Observer reported on Friday that a source close to the investigation said that the same symbol was drawn in lipstick on a mirror in Touma's motel room.
Lt. David Sportsman told the paper that the letter is valuable evidence, but that it was written in an attempt to mislead investigators.
"There is absolutely no reason to believe there have been any other killings or that any other killings have occurred related to this so-called confession," Sportsman told The Observer.
It is not known whether there is a connection between the person of interest and the author of the letter.
Touma, a dental specialist from Cold Springs, Kentucky, arrived at Fort Bragg on June 12.
In five years with the Army, Touma had served with the U.S. Army Dental Activity Clinic in Bamberg, Germany, and in Fort Drum, New York, before her assignment to Fort Bragg.