TAMPA — An airman was found dead in his room at MacDill Air Force Base this week, the base announced Wednesday.
Air Force Airman 1st Class Marco Ford, assigned to 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron, was found at 10 p.m. Monday. The base did not release a cause of death or any details about how he died.
Ford's mother, Rosalyn Clark of New York, told the St. Petersburg Times that officers had informed her they believed her son's death was suicide. But she said there were too many unanswered questions for her to accept that theory on its face.
Ford, 22, was born in Jamaica and emigrated with his family to New York at age 8, Clark said.
He spent two years in Brooklyn College before he decided the school wasn't preparing him for what he saw as his 12-year plan and opted to join the Air Force.
Clark said both she and her 9-year-old daughter spoke to Ford on Saturday and they discussed his plan to trade in his vehicle.
"He had all these plans," she said during a tearful phone interview. "It doesn't make sense."
Authorities informed her that Ford was found in his apartment's bathroom with a gunshot wound to the head, she said.
The bullet went into a pipe and caused the apartment to flood, drawing the attention of other residents and management, Clark said.
She said Wednesday she was sure her son was not assigned a sidearm and questioned where the gun came from.
She said she has turned over everything she knows to the investigators in hopes her questions can be answered as she prepares to bury her son.
"On behalf of the MacDill family, I want to express our sympathy to the friends and family of Marco during this time of sorrow," Col. Lenny Richoux, the 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, said in a statement.
Times staff writer William Levesque contributed to this report.