The Navy is investigating two members from Navy SEAL Team 6 to find out whether or not they strangled a Green Beret to death in Mali.
Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar was discovered dead in embassy housing in Mali in June, and his superiors immediately believed there to be foul play at work, which led investigators to subsequently declare the death a homicide by strangulation, The New York Times reports.
The first investigator was dispatched to Mali within 24 hours.
Shortly after the death, two Navy SEALs were taken out of Mali and put on administrative leave. At first, the SEALs were merely “witnesses,” but investigators soon changed that status to “persons of interest.”
Army Criminal Investigation Command looked into the case for several months before passing it off to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
At this point, it’s not clear why Melgar was killed, and NCIS has been mum on the current investigation. Speculation has revolved around the possibility of a housing dispute gone horribly wrong, or the possibility that Melgar stumbled upon illicit activities the SEALs were trying to cover up.
“NCIS does not discuss the details of ongoing investigations,” NCIS spokesman Ed Buice told The Times.
News of the suspicious death has come about amid a troubling incident in Niger, in which four Green Berets were killed in an ambush by up to 50 Islamic State-affiliated fighters armed with small arms, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
Like in the case of Niger, special operators from the Army and Navy are deployed to Mali to assist local forces with training and counterterrorism projects.
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