By Laura King
Los Angeles Times
CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan – The second of two American servicemen who disappeared last week in a Taliban-infested area south of the Afghan capital has been confirmed dead as well, a U.S. military official and Afghan authorities said Thursday.
The body of Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove was recovered and his family notified, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Newlove and his companion, Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley, were ambushed by Taliban fighters in Lowgar province on Friday.
The Taliban initially said they had killed one of the men in a firefight and captured the other. McNeley’s body was recovered Sunday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said earlier, and provincial spokesman Din Mohammed Darwesh said Newlove’s remains were found Wednesday.
It was not immediately known whether he had died of wounds suffered in the firefight or was killed by the insurgents while in their captivity. NATO officials have declined to say what the two were doing in Lowgar, and whether their trip was sanctioned by their superiors.
The part of the province where they were ambushed was considered so dangerous that even Afghan officials were hesitant to venture there. With Newlove’s death, only one American is known to be in Taliban captivity. He is Idaho National Guardsman Bowe Bergdahl, who was seized 13 months ago in eastern Afghanistan.