The New York Times is reporting that two members of SEAL Team Six, the elite Navy squad that took out Osama Bin Laden, are under investigation for the June strangulation death of an Army Green Beret while stationed in Mali.
34-year-old Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar was found dead in his room at the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, Mali on June 4. Authorities suspected foul play after the military medical examiner determined the cause of death to be "homicide by asphyxiation."
Melgar was part of a group of various Special Operation forces who were stationed in Mali to aid in training and counterterrorism missions and all lived in the same housing complex.
Two Navy SEAL members under investigation death of Army Green Beret https://t.co/uArbFbHAnM— Daily Mail US (@Daily Mail US) 1509331246.0
The two Navy SEALs were quickly flown out of the country and placed on paid administrative leave, according to the Times, yet neither the Army nor the Africa Command issued statements after Melgar's death. Not even as the SEALs were changed from "witnesses" to "persons of interest."
Melgar's superiors in Stuttgart, Germany, immediately suspected foul play, dispatching members of the Army's Criminal Investigation Command to Mali within 24 hours. But after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (N.C.I.S.) took over last month, members of the tight-knit Green Berets have been left to wonder what happened.
One theory is that Melgar stumbled upon the SEALs while they were engaged in some sort of illicit activity and that they were forced to "silence" him.
Another is that it was a personal household dispute that turned deadly.
The Times states: "Much is unknown about what happened around 5 a.m. on June 4 in the team house. The initial reports to Sergeant Melgar’s superiors in Germany said he had been injured while wrestling or grappling with the two Navy commandos, according to three officials who have been briefed on the investigation."
NYT: Two members of Navy SEAL Team 6 are being investigated in the June death of an Army Green Beret. https://t.co/maa9CxMSfN— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin) 1509304512.0
"According to one version of events, one of the SEALs put Sergeant Melgar in a chokehold. When the sergeant passed out, the commandos frantically tried to revive him. Failing that, they rushed him to an emergency clinic, where he was pronounced dead," the report continues.
The homicide is yet another in a string of incidents in West Africa that have resulted in U.S. military deaths. It follows the news of mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths of four military members killed during a supposed ambush in neighboring Niger earlier this month.
The news spread quickly on social media Monday morning:
2 Navy SEAL Team 6 members are under investigation in the death of a Green Beret, who was reportedly strangled in e… https://t.co/Rbw0Be3s0x— CBS News (@CBS News) 1509361915.0
2 US Navy SEAL Team Six members under suspicion in strangling death of Army Green Beret https://t.co/kdTGIxy9jN— United News Intl. (@United News Intl.) 1509402465.0
And many on Twitter shared their concerns:
@kylegriffin1 Ugh. Hate hearing that there might be bad amongst our best.— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes) 1509304599.0
@kylegriffin1 Another black eye for Navy SEALS— Debra King (@Debra King) 1509306414.0
Navy Seal killing a Green Beret. Doesn't surprise me. Will bet that Green Beret found SEAL Team 6 members doing something illegal. #NCIS.— Alex Philp (@Alex Philp) 1509332636.0
@BlueSea1964 so tragic...if they are guilty they belong in prison.— Funkytown (@Funkytown) 1509365388.0
Another dark day for the U.S. Military:
@kylegriffin1 I hope they can get to the bottom of this & justice is served. 💜RIP Staff Sgt Logan J. Melgar— 🇨🇦 Monte Alto 🇺🇸 (@🇨🇦 Monte Alto 🇺🇸) 1509307141.0
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