|Published:||Jul 27, 2010 11:28 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 27, 2010 8:29 AM EDT|
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - One of two U.S. sailors missing in
Afghanistan since last week has been confirmed dead and his body
recovered, a NATO spokesman said Tuesday.
The search continues for the other missing sailor, said Lt. Col.
Todd Breasseale, a spokesman for NATO and U.S. forces in
The two Navy personnel went missing Friday in the eastern
province of Logar, after an armored sport utility vehicle was seen
driving into a Taliban-held area. NATO officials were unable to say
what they were doing in such a dangerous part of eastern
The Taliban have said previously that they killed one of the two
men in a firefight and captured the other.
Jim Kerr, a Colorado legislator from the south-Denver suburb of
Littleton, said the sailor killed was his wife's nephew, Justin
McNeley, 30. He said the family learned of his death Monday. He
said McNeley's mother is in Kingman, Arizona, but declined to give
Kerr told The Denver Post that McNeley, a noncommissioned
officer and father of two sons, was due to return to the U.S. in
The Taliban have said the captured sailor is in a "safe place"
where he will not be found.
In a statement, the NATO-led command said the body was recovered
Sunday after an extensive search and that the coalition "holds the
captors accountable for the safety and proper treatment of our
missing service member."
The only other American service member in Taliban captivity is
Spc. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, who disappeared June 30, 2009,
in Paktika province, also in eastern Afghanistan. That area is
heavily infiltrated by the Haqqani network, which has deep links to
al-Qaida. Bergdahl has since appeared on videos posted on Taliban
websites confirming his captivity.
New York Times reporter David Rohde was also kidnapped in Logar
province while trying to make contact with a Taliban commander. He
and an Afghan colleague escaped in June 2009 after seven months in
captivity, most of it spent in Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan.
Hundreds of fliers, with reprinted photos of the two missing
sailors, have been distributed throughout Logar province where NATO
troops were stopping vehicles, searching them and those inside. The
fliers say a $20,000 reward is being offered for information
leading to the sailors' location.
Separately, Britain's Ministry of Defense said Tuesday that a
British soldier, who was serving with a task force working to
counter homemade bombs, died Monday in a blast in the Sangin
district of Helmand province.