Two members of the elite SEAL Team 6 are suspected of strangling an US Army Green Beret in June while they were in Mali on a secret assignment, according to The New York Times.
Staff Sergeant Logan J. Melgar, a 34-year-old veteran of two tours in Afghanistan, was found dead on June 4 in the embassy housing he shared in the Malian capital, Bamako, with a few other Special Operations forces assigned to the West African nation to help with training and counterterrorism missions.
According to the Daily Beast sources, Melgar had discovered the two SEALs were pocketing some of the money from the fund that was used to pay informants in Mali. The SEALS offered to cut him in, but Melgar declined, these sources said.
It is unknown what specifically started the June 4 altercation at 5 AM but it escalated, resulting in Melgar first losing consciousness. Then he stopped breathing. The SEALs attempted to open an airway in Melgar’s throat. It is unknown whether Melgar died immediately. The SEALs and another Green Beret drove to a nearby French clinic seeking help. Melgar was dead when he arrived at the clinic. Asphyxiation was the cause of death.
The SEALs explained this by telling superiors that Melgar was drunk during hand-to-hand fighting exercises. They filed at least one operational report about the incident and possibly two. At least one of the reports included an account that Melgar was drunk. A former US Africa Command official who saw the autopsy report said no drugs or alcohol were found in Melgar’s system. At least one source believes he did not drink alcohol at all.
Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation into Melgar’s death is still ongoing.
Just 34 years old when he died, Melgar, a Texan, was an Afghanistan veteran twice over. Melgar was a 2006 graduate of Texas Tech. He enlisted in 2012 and joined the Army as a Special Forces recruit. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification course in 2016.