Investigators Find More Remains Of US Soldier Killed In Niger

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Army Sergeant La David T. Johnson, killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4.

Army Sergeant La David T. Johnson, killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4.

Editor’s Note: This article by Brendan McGarry originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

U.S. military investigators found more remains of the Army soldier killed in Niger, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.

A team with U.S. Africa Command on Nov. 12 discovered additional human remains at the site where Sgt. La David T. Johnson's body was recovered in the Western African country, according to a statement from Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White. The Armed Forces Medical Examiner on Tuesday positively identified them as those of Johnson, White said.

Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, was killed with three other members of the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger. The others were Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia.

"We extend our deepest condolences to all of the families of the fallen," White said.

Two more American troops were wounded and five Nigerien troops were also killed in the incident.

The four U.S. service members killed in action were part of a 12-man team from the Army 3rd Special Forces Group that joined a patrol with 30 Nigerien troops. During the firefight, Sgt. La David Johnson became separated from the rest of the group. His body was not recovered until two days after the initial attack.

It wasn't immediately clear why some of Johnson's remains were left in the country.

Army Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, a career infantry officer, Iraq veteran and the chief of staff to Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, is leading an Article 15-6 fact-finding investigation into the firefight in western Niger near the Mali border.

Under their rules of engagement, the 12 U.S. soldiers on the patrol "were authorized to accompany Nigerien forces when the prospects for enemy contact was unlikely," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford has said.

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