Navy Seaman Acting as NCIS Informant on Day of Death

Kyle Antonacci secretly taped a conversation for authorities the same day he was discovered dead in his room.

Part 3 of Special Report: Death at Naval Station Great Lakes

On the day that Kyle Antonacci died, the 22-year-old was acting as a secret informant for NCIS at Naval Station Great Lakes. On Feb. 1, 2010, Kyle taped a conversation for NCIS with a female Marine about a rape incident that had allegedly occurred in the barracks. A few hours later, he was discovered hanging by a belt in the closet of his room on the Illinois military base.   

Nine months earlier, the female Marine had accused Kyle’s friend and fellow seaman Mike Pineda of sexually assaulting her in Kyle’s room. The case went to trial six months later. During the trial, Kyle testified the Marine had originally come to his room because they had previously been sexually involved together but stated he was no longer interested in her and called Pineda for help. The Marine claimed Pineda raped her once Kyle left the room. In November 2009, a jury found Pineda guilty and sentenced him to three months in prison and a bad-conduct discharge.  

But after Pineda’s conviction, military officials had doubts about Kyle’s involvement in the incident and his testimony on the stand. According to documents, NCIS informed Kyle about charges they might pursue against him, which included perjury, false official statement and rape. In response, Kyle admitted to being dishonest and apologized to NCIS for omitting certain details about that night.

Kyle confessed to having sex with the Marine the same night she accused his friend of rape, which had never been mentioned before. Kyle claimed he hid those details because he was being threatened by the female Marine to testify a certain way. He alleged the Marine told him she would accuse him of rape too if he spoke out about their sexual encounter that night. 

“I did not speak about all events because of her threat of rape,” Kyle wrote in a statement to NCIS, which Patch obtained. “I knew when she was discussing these things that she was stretching the truth. I went along with this because she threatened me.”

Before the trial, Kyle filed a report with NCIS, which Patch also obtained, claiming he was being threatened by one of her Marine comrades with what looked like a knife. He also reported an X carved into his front door.
In the wake of his admission to NCIS, Kyle conducted two wiretapped conversations with the female Marine for NCIS. In them, Kyle tried to get her to elaborate on the details of their sexual encounter and own up to remembering more about the incident than she claimed on the stand. 
“He was so happy when he made this arrangement with NCIS,” said his mother, Lisa Antonacci. In exchange for being a wired informant, Lisa said he told her he was going to be transferred to a military base in Pensacola, FL.
But during those taped conversations, the female Marine told Kyle she had no idea he was threatened by her fellow Marines. She stuck by her story that she was assaulted by Pineda and emphasized she never had plans to charge Kyle with rape. She said she wished she could help him more, but now that she had transferred bases, was pregnant and engaged, she was trying to forget about the whole thing and move on with her life. She also told Kyle she didn’t know that NCIS was still investigating the incident.

“I’m not involved in it anymore, no one is calling me,” the female Marine told Kyle in one of the taped conversations. “I’m sorry that it’s still following you and everything but I’m really just trying to stay away from it,” she added.

Click on the video link above to listen to more of the conversation.  

Both Pineda and the Antonaccis think she knew the conversations were being recorded. Pineda claimed the Marine still had friends at the Naval Station who were tipping her off about NCIS’s new investigation.

The female Marine told Patch that she was “not interested” in being interviewed again about the incident.

A few hours after the second taped conversation with the Marine, Kyle was found dead.
“Right off the bat I knew that he didn’t commit suicide,” Pineda remembered of his reaction in jail when authorities first told him what happened. “Kyle was murdered. I was positive a murder was committed on him.”
Kyle’s death has been under investigation by the Lake County Coroner’s Office and NCIS for the past 20 months. When contacted by Patch, both organizations said they were unable to confirm or deny such allegations because the case was still active. But Kyle’s parents, Lisa and Al Antonacci, say the investigation was recently completed and plan to meet with military personnel in person to discuss the findings in the near future. NCIS did not return Patch’s calls for further comment.

The Antonaccis have cried foul play ever since they were informed about Kyle’s death and have been unsatisfied with the way officials have handled the situation. Then in June, the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals set aside the jury’s original findings and sentence against Pineda and authorized a rehearing. In September, before a rehearing took place, the Navy ordered Pineda’s charges to be “withdrawn and dismissed.” He is also being honorably discharged from the Navy.

“I have some stress relieved to say the least with my conviction and charge set aside,” Pineda told Patch. “However it is not much consolation knowing that the individuals at the top of this mess are still being protected by their respective institutions for their gross misconduct and trampling of the constitution they swore to protect.”

The more Kyle’s parents find out about their son’s death and the events that preceded it, the harder it is for them to come to terms with how he died. Al said he’s narrowed it down to three scenarios.
“One, either they did it, the Marines; that it was done as an accident to scare him, that it went to far; or three, they bullied him to the point that he wanted to kill himself,” he said.
Either way the family is blaming officials at Naval Station Great Lakes for not protecting their son from the threats he told them he was concerned about. “Somewhere along the line we believe that NCIS dropped the ball,” Al said.
Next: Part 4: Family Exhumes Navy Seaman's Body

SallyJay October 13, 2011 at 04:09 PM
What a sad mess. I believe Kyle's first story, whereby he pushed the female Marine away and sought help from his friend. The 2nd story doesn't make sense -- Kyle stating that he also had sex with the female Marine. The question is -- Why did he have to get his friend to help contain this female Marine. It would appear that Kyle was pressured to change his story. I find rape as a horrible act and in most cases, they are true rape cases. But there is a fine line. If you stand in front of a speeding car and don't move. Then get hit. Then the blame lays with the idiot. In other words, if the female Marine was highly drunk, I question if she was raped. She may have thought she was having sex with Kyle instead. That would make Pineda innocent. No one can read someone's mind. Now she is happy, pregnant and engaged. And Kyle is dead.
Agnes Dembowski October 13, 2011 at 07:37 PM
What a poorly written and edited article. This "writer" writes on a fifth grade level.
whatever10 October 13, 2011 at 07:50 PM
@Agnes - I don't usually defend Patch's awful editing or writing, but in this case, if you are going to rip a person's writing or editing, learn how to write yourself. The words "fifth grade" in your sentence should have a hyphen between them. Looks like you are still writing at a fifth-grade level too Agnes.
Robert Foglia October 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM
SallyJay, So the other guy has no responsibility for having sex with someone who is highly drunk. That is equivalent to asking a drunk guy to say no if he doesn't want you to take his wallet and money. My wife was in the Navy and the stories she tells me about the sexual assaults against female sailors and how they were treated after by authorities is appalling. That entire chain of command Great Mistakes should be demoted and washed out of the military. Just another example of a Pat Tillman episode and people in power with low morale and character.
tc October 14, 2011 at 08:02 AM
If only people knew just how screwed up that coc is over there...I feel sorry about this whole thing...he always had a smile on his face...hope the truth comes out one day for the sake of his families peace of mind.
john simonivich October 14, 2011 at 04:28 PM
First the sailor was not charged with rape, he was charged with having sex with someone that was substantially incapacitated. The female marine was not drunk, her BAC was .134 after the incident and she had been drinking again before the BAC was taken. She was also a raging alcoholic. She was intimate friends with the sailor she accused of having sex with her while she was passed out. However the piece of evidence that blew the case out of the water at appeals, was a sworn document from a corpsman that proved she was not substantially incapacitated. She lied and threatened Kyle to never bring his name up because she knew the corpsman would tell the truth about her being as oriented as any normal person. A corpsman is a military medic. This medic was shipped to Afghanistan during the process and was never questioned about the incident. Despite the prosecution the defense and NCIS knowing he was a material witness. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his actions while in Afghanistan and was found at 29 Palms marine base in DEC 2010 by attorney James Culp, who he provided a sworn staement to.
Abbi Peete February 13, 2012 at 11:37 PM
If you listen to the recording this girl sounds like she has no clue to what goes on around her. Just another dumb girl realizing she did something bad and blames someone else for it. I hope she is happy now knowing that a great guy was killed because she couldn't keep her legs/mouth closed. I knew Kyle and he sticks up for whats right but never should have got in the middle of this. He was truely a great friend.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something