A U.S. Airman was found dead at RAF Lakenheath, England on Friday after missing for a day in what is suspected to be a suicide.
Airman 1st Class Camden Mello was reported missing on Thursday, and was found on Friday during an “all hands” search conducted by his unit, 48th Fighter Wing commander Lt. Col. Jason Camilletti said in a video announcement. “We believe he took his own life,” Camilletti said.
Camilletti took a personal approach to the announcement, saying, “Camden, we love you brother,” and adding, “Two hours ago I was bawling in my car over Camden’s loss. This stuff is real and we’re living overseas in the COVID era when there’s two-thirds darkness and one-third day and all the other life stressors. It’s natural to feel down sometimes.”
Camilletti addressed Mello’s wife and family, and to the fellow service members in the 48th Fighter Wing.
“To our seven 48th AMXS men and women our arms are also wrapped around you all,” he said. “When you all found out he was missing there was no shortage of manpower to go look. I know what he meant to you.”
Mello had enlisted in the Air Force in late 2019 and was a crew chief assigned to the 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
In December 2020, Mello had appeared in a video discussing his enlisted journey, his life struggles, and his family support.
“I lost my mother a week after my arrival at Royal Air Force Lakenheath,” Mello said in the video. “It was also the first time I had been separated from my wife since college.”
Mello’s mother, Amber Mello, was killed in December 2020 while on vacation in New Orleans when a local woman intentionally struck her with her car, Fall River Reporter reported.
Mello went on in the video to explain he received support from the Mental Health facility on base that helped him “find peace and accept my situation.” He added, “taking care of your mental health makes you a stronger individual in an even stronger team.”
Mello said his wife was able to join him on base eight months later for Christmas. This Christmas, however, she’s spending it alone.
“I have no idea how I am going to make it through life knowing the plans we had made together have slipped away,” Lauren Mello wrote Friday on Facebook. “But I promise I will be strong for you. I promise I will carry on for you.”