Vet’s Body to Be Dug Up at Arlington Cemetery After People Learn Who He Really Was

In the News

A deceased former Navy lieutenant — and murderer — will become the first veteran to have his remains removed from Arlington National Cemetery this year due to the nature of his crimes.

Former Lt. Andrew Chabrol kidnapped, raped and murdered an enlisted woman — 27-year-old Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa Harrington — in Chesapeake, Virginia, in 1991, according to the Navy Times.

The gruesome crime occurred after Harrington rebuffed Chabrol’s romantic advances and reported him for his harassing behavior.

The killer and another man kidnapped, bound the young woman, and raped her before Chabrol brutally strangled her after she broke loose from her restraints.

Chabrol admitted to the crime and was sentenced to death.

He waived his right to any appeals and was executed in 1993 — but not before he secured himself a spot at Arlington.

Chabrol claimed that he “just went berserk” when recounting the murder in court.

He blamed Harrington, who was married at the time to another active-duty sailor, for ruining his marriage and his career by coming forward and reporting his “intimidating behavior” to her superiors.

In a journal in which he plotted the killing, he referred to Harrington as “Nemesis,” The Roanoke Times reported.

For the last 30 years, Chabrol has been interred at Arlington in spite of protests by Harrington’s family and others who have said he has no place at a cemetery for American heroes.

According to The Navy Times, the cemetery now has until September of this year to find another spot for Chabrol’s remains after action from a now-former congresswoman.

Prior to last year, there was no law that could have been used to remove him from the cemetery since he was discharged from the Navy honorably.

But a provision in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act was introduced by former congresswoman Jackie Speier of California last December.

Speier advocated for Harrington’s family, who could not fathom why her killer was interred at Arlington.


“It was appalling to me to think that an officer in the Navy could sexually harass, then kidnap, then rape, and then murder a sailor and get buried at a national cemetery, which is supposed to honor our war heroes and our dead,” Speier told The Washington Post last year. “So he has no place in that cemetery.”

The provision was for Chabrol only, meaning any future potential removal of someone from the cemetery would need a separate legislative action, the Navy Times reported.

Chabrol’s remains will be removed by Sept. 30 and presented to his family or next of kin.

If no one claims his body, it will be disposed of in some other manner.

According to The Navy Times, a death row chaplain met with Chabrol before his execution and described him as “fundamentally evil and beyond redemption.”