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2 US airmen mysteriously found dead at Germany air base

A U.S. Air Force Honor Guard detail from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, conducts a ceremonial volley as part of a Memorial Day ceremony at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg, May 28, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/Released)
January 13, 2020

The U.S. Air Force announced Sunday it is investigating what caused the death of two airmen living in the same dorm room at a base in Germany last week.

U.S. Air Force Airmen 1st Class Xavier Leaphart, 20, and Aziess Whitehurst, 20, were found unresponsive in a dorm room at around 6:30 p.m. local time on Thursday at Spangdahlem Air Base, according to an Air Force press release. Emergency responders pronounced both men dead about 20 minutes later at 6:50 p.m.

The cause of the deaths remains unknown at this time. The Air Force said further details will be provided when they become available.

Both airmen were assigned to the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, under the 52nd Fighter Wing.

“It is always very difficult to lose valued members of our team,” said Col. David Epperson, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. “Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and families that have been affected by this tragedy.”

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The 52nd Fighter Wing Command Team sent out a similar internal message through the unit’s Facebook page.

“Dear Sabers, It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of two of our airmen, who were found unresponsive in a dorm room yesterday,” the Facebook statement said.

The unit also advised those grieving the news to reach out to the Chaplains, Mental Health, and the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

The Air Force said Whitehurst is survived by his father and mother, Davin and Maria Whitehurst.

Leaphart is survived by his father, Malik Muhammad, and mother, Pamela Leaphart.

Another airman assigned to 52nd Medical Operations Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base was also found in an unresponsive state alongside a German roadway in July 2018. Staff Sgt. Justin Vandervort, the airman in question, was also pronounced dead shortly after. More than a month after Vandervort’s death, the Air Force revealed in a press statement that it still had not determined the cause