Two members of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6 are under investigation after the suspicious death of a U.S. Army Green Beret in Mali, the New York Times reports.
Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar, 34, was found dead June 4 in embassy housing in the Malian capital of Bamako and agents with the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) are working to determine whether he was strangled by the unnamed SEALs, the Times reports.
Many details about the case remain a mystery and military officials have kept quiet about it. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Melgar Was Living With Other Special Operators in Mali & Foul Play Was Immediately Suspected, the Times Reports
Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar was living at U.S. embassy housing in Bamako along with several other Special Operations forces who were assigned to the West African country to help with training and counterterrorism, the New York Times reports.
Melgar was found dead on June 4 and an autopsy by a military medical examiner determined his death was a homicide caused by strangulation, sources told the Times.
According to the Times, details of what led to Melgar’s death have not been made public. The newspaper reports that the mystery has led members of the tight-knit Green Beret community to speculate about what happened. The Times reports that some in the community think Melgar could have been involved in a personal dispute with his housemates or could have “stumbled upon some illicit activity the SEALs were involved in, and they silenced him.”
Melgar’s superiors in Germany immediately suspected foul play and an investigator was sent to the scene within 24 hours, the Times reports.
2. The 2 SEALs Have Been Called ‘Persons of Interest’ & Were Flown Out of Mali After Melgar’s Death
No one has been charged in Melgar’s death, according to the New York Times report. NCIS took over the investigation on September 25. The Army Criminal Investigative Service originally investigated the death.
The homicide investigation was not made public prior to the Times’ report on October 29. “NCIS does not discuss the details of ongoing investigations,” spokesman Ed Buice told the Times.
According to the Times, the two Navy SEALs, who have not been identified publicly, were flown out of Mali shortly after Melgar’s death. They were initially listed as witnesses, but were later re-classified as “persons of interest,” the newspaper reports.
3. Melgar Was a Texas Native Who Enlisted in the Army After Graduating From College
Melgar was a Lubbock, Texas, native, graduating from Frenship High School in Wolfforth in 2001, according to the Frenship ISD’s website. He enlisted in the Army after graduating from college, the school district said. It is not clear where he went to college.
Melgar was honored by Frenship High School at its homecoming game earlier this month.
“Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger,” the school district said. “This is one way we let the world know that once a person walks through the doors of any Frenship ISD campus, they become part of the Frenship Nation. We become family.”
His family came onto the field during the ceremony, which can be seen at the end of the video above.
4. He Was Based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina & Served 2 Tours in Afghanistan
Melgar was part of the Army Special Forces Group (Airborne) and was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He served two tours in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times.
“After graduating from Frenship and obtaining his college degree, he enlisted in the Army and became a Green Beret. He earned numerous medals and commendations, and after multiple deployments was deployed for the final time this year,” Frenship ISD said in a statement.
Melgar’s body was returned to North Carolina on June 21. Members of the Patriot Guard Riders of North Carolina were at Raleigh-Durham International Airport to escort him to a local funeral home, according to a post on their Facebook page.
5. Melgar Is Survived by His Wife & Young Son
Melgar is survived by his wife, Melissa, and his son, Braxton. A family spokesperson gave a statement to his former high school before the homecoming ceremony honoring him.
“Staff Sgt. Melgar did what most only dream of and excelled at every turn! His life was epic! He is missed dearly every single day, but his legacy lives on through his family and his son Braxton,” the statement said.
His wife and brother did not comment when contacted by the New York Times about the death investigation.