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Navy completes probe into Green Beret strangling death allegedly by Navy SEALs

The last of the memorial stones is revealed during the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) memorial stone laying ceremony, May 22, 2018 at Fort Bragg N.C. Seven new stones were added to the 3rd SFG (A) memorial walk in remembrance of the recently fallen 3rd SFG (A) Soldiers, including Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Steven Lewis)
November 08, 2018

The U.S. Navy has completed its investigation into the death of Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, who was reportedly strangled and killed last June by two Navy SEALs who were allegedly trying to cover up a cash heist in Mali, West Africa.

Investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) have been probing 34-year-old Melgar’s death for more than a year, and the findings will now be reviewed by the command of the Navy Mid-Atlantic Region in Norfolk, Rear Adm. Charles Rock, who has been put in charge of the investigation, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The investigation findings are not public, but two members of SEAL Team 6 have been the subject of probes in connection to Melgar’s death.

According to Navy chief spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks, Rock would “review all relevant information pertaining to Staff Sergeant Melgar’s death and make determinations regarding administrative or disciplinary actions as appropriate,” the Times reported.

“As in all military justice matters, any charges or actions will be handled in military service channels,” Hicks told the Times in response to their inquiry. “During this process, it is paramount that the rights of all parties — including the service member who may be the subject of the investigation — are protected.”

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Melgar was found dead on June 4, 2017, in embassy housing in Bamako that he shared with other Special Operations forces assigned in the same area, including two members from SEAL Team 6.

Melgar had served two tours in Afghanistan. He joined the Army in 2012 and was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

While the two SEALs reportedly had said they found Melgar “unresponsive” in their room at the time, they changed their stories after an autopsy came back showing strangulation. One of the SEAls later said the three were wrestling.

“Once the SEALs got off of Melgar, according to the account they gave investigators, they realized he wasn’t breathing and attempted CPR and tried to open up an air path in his throat,” it had been reported at the time.

The incident is highly suspicious, and no charges have been filed yet in the soldier’s death, which was ruled to be “homicide by asphyxiation,” or strangulation.

The two Navy SEALs were flown out of Mali and placed on administrative leave following the incident.

Melgar had reportedly told his wife he had a “bad feeling” about two of his partners who were from SEAL Team 6, The Daily Beast had exclusively reported at the time; Melgar told his wife he’d fill her in on the “full story” when he returned home – but Melgar did not make it home.

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The New York Times first reported that Navy criminal authorities were looking into whether or not two members of SEAL Team 6 strangled and killed Melgar in Africa, according to the Times’ sources, which it cited as military officials.

It was later learned that Melgar might have learned the two Navy SEALs had been taking informant money, according to The Daily Beast.

“Melgar, two special operations sources say, discovered the SEALs were pocketing some of the money from the informant fund. The SEALS offered to cut him in, but Melgar declined, these sources said,” The Daily Beast had reported.