According to military officials, two members of the elite SEAL team 6 are being investigated by Navy criminal authorities for strangling a Green Beret while on assignment in June. Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar, 34, was found dead in embassy housing on June 4. The Green Beret’s superiors immediately suspected foul play, launching an investigation.
As reported by The New York Times, Melgar was found dead in the housing unit he shared with several other Special Operations servicemen while on assignment in Bamako, the capital of the West African nation of Mali.
Melgar’s superiors, located in Stuttgart, Germany, dispatched an investigation officer within 24 hours, military officials stated. Members of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command looked into the case for months before handing it off to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) last month.
A military medical examiner ruled Melgar’s death a homicide, indicating strangulation as the cause of death based on the autopsy results. While no one has been charged in the death, two US Navy SEALs were placed on administrative leave soon after the incident and flown out of Mali.
Details regarding why Melgar was murdered have not been provided. Ed Buice, a spokesman for NCIS, stated, “NCIS does not discuss the details of ongoing investigations.” He did confirm that the agency took over the investigation on September 25.
The two unidentified Navy SEALs were initially characterized as “witnesses” but were later considered “persons of interest” in the case, suggesting investigation officials were attempting to determine the level of involvement of the two Navy SEALs or the amount of knowledge they possess regarding the crime.
Members of the Green Beret community have speculated whether Melgar’s death was the result of a personal dispute among housemates or if he may have discovered illicit activities that involved the SEALs, leading them to silence him.
Special Operations forces in Mali were assisting with training and counterterrorism missions in the area.
Melgar had two previous deployments to Afghanistan before being assigned in Mali.
Both Melga’s widow, Michelle, and brother, Shawn, have declined to comment on the investigation. The US Army, as well as the Army’s Africa Command, have yet to issue a statement regarding Melgar’s death.