Marine who graduated from Belle Plaine found dead in barracks 03 Feb 12

A U.S. Marine and 2004 graduate of Belle Plaine High School was found dead last week in his barracks in North Carolina.

Cpl. Gavin Kopponen was found in his barracks at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on January 24, just months before he was scheduled for discharge in April.

Kopponen’s mother Barb Christianson told the Belle Plaine Herald the Marines wouldn’t tell her how her son died, only where they found his body, and that the investigation could take up to a month.

Kopponen joined the Marines in 2008. Christianson is planning a military burial for her son. He’ll be cremated and buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.