July 27th, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Body of missing American sailor found

[Update 4:43 p.m. ET] The U.S. Department of Defense identified the two sailors. Coalition troops found the body of Petty Officer, 2nd Class Justin McNeley, 30, of Wheatridge, Colorado, while Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, 25, of Renton, Washington, is still missing. 

[Original post 7:50 a.m. ET] The remains of an American sailor who went missing last week have been found in eastern Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Tuesday.

"Afghan and coalition forces recovered the remains of a missing ISAF service member Sunday in eastern Afghanistan after an extensive search," the ISAF statement said. The search continues for the other service member, according to ISAF.

ISAF has not identified the missing service members or their nationalities, but the U.S. Navy confirmed Sunday that they are American sailors.

"The thoughts and prayers of our entire Navy go out to the missing sailors serving in Afghanistan and their families," said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of U.S. naval operations, in the statement. "We have been closely following the situation from the outset. These sailors represent two of several thousand sailors serving on the ground in Afghanistan in support of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan.

"Forces on the ground in Afghanistan are doing everything they can to locate and safely return our missing shipmates," Roughead said.

On Sunday, provincial government officials confirmed the death of one of the American sailors.

Den Mohammad Darwish, the spokesman for the governor of Logar province, said he learned from locals that the American was killed. He said the body was found in the Patanak Mountains of Charkh district. He also said the vehicle the men were driving was located Sunday.

A Taliban spokesman confirmed that the American died in a firefight and the other is being held by the group.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the two Americans were driving in a civilian vehicle in the village of Dasht, in Charkh district.

The Taliban wanted to take both men alive, but the firefight broke out, killing one of the Americans, Mujahid said. The other is alive and being held in a safe location, he said

There were no immediate demands from the Taliban for the return of the Americans because the group was still deliberating what its demands would be, Mujahid said.

A U.S. military official confirmed that a $20,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the return of the two sailors. Posters were being distributed in the region.

– CNN's Atia Abawi and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Taliban • Troops
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Kitty

    No one to blame except that idiot Bush. WMD's not found (FACT). over half of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi's(fact), what are we doing in Iraq? Did the Saudis offer any explaination? Bush and his family have interests in ALL Contract Companies in Iraq (FACT!!). Come on people! its not rocket science. Over half of the US military come from communities in the US that the government dosent care about (FACT). MONEY and OIL is why we are invading these countries. Blame your precious politicians, not the soliders, who are only there under orders.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. AnnBChrist

    In Islam Chapter 47 it says that it is unseemly for even the Prophet to take or keep prisoners. The guidelines are when engaging an enemy take prisoners to subdue the enemy, do not torture the prisoners, either ransom them and return them or keep them until the war is over. What ever happens you are NEVER TO KILL THE PRISONERS.
    Technically speaking if the sailors were not actively fighting when taken, their captors had no right to take them in the first place. It's all there, Chapter 47, but nobody bothers to look or follow directions.

    July 30, 2010 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Kitty

      Same goes for the US Lady!! Look how the US Military has tortured prisoners and embarrassed the whole country.

      August 11, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. 415love

    They were not SEALs, and besides what does that matter they lost their lives...they were only 2nd and 3rd class POs so its quite apparent that a OFFICER is responsible for dropping the ball for sending them out! I knew one of them, so I know that He didnt make a "foolish" choice nor did He go out "joy riding" and its very offensive for anyone to say that or insinuate that they are at fault...He leaves behind a wife and two babies, i send my deepest condolences to his family and at the same time I thank him for giving his very YOUNG life in defense of our great nation and those are the only words any of you should be commenting with!

    July 30, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. sync2000

    Guys! Russia with you! Good luck!

    July 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sanjosemike

    I offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of these murdered soldiers. Words alone are not enough to convey my thanks to them for fighting against Islam. Nothing I say or do can make any difference, but I want their families to know my thanks. I have also never forgotten the name of Naval Steelworker Second Class Robert D. Stethem, who was killed by Palestinian terrorists on June 4th, 1985. I will never forget Robert D. Stethem, and I urge none of you to either. sanjosemike

    July 29, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stupid tax payer

    where is the muslim outrage over the killing of a soldier by a CIVILIAN Afghan

    July 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Abu Ghadab

    I don't detect any disgust from you for the terrorists who committed the atrocities...

    July 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Abu Ghadab

    We'd be better off with Octomom in the White House. Couldn't be worse than osama

    July 29, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Abu Ghadab

    Just waiting for the terrorists who murdered the US WARRIORS to show up on larry king, so they can brag about how they butchered the 2 US NAVY WARRIORS.

    July 29, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Abu Ghadab

    Watch for al cnn to "justify" the atrocities committed by al cnn's beloved terrorists. Or they'll just bury it and instead focus on if a detained terrorist doesn't get breakfast in bed, or some other "war crime" (<<according from al cnn)

    July 29, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Abu Ghadab

    Brace yourselves for an "outpouring of sympathy" for our murdered WARRIORS, and an "avalanche of condemnation" from the America-loving al cnn. It is clear who's side al cnn is on in this WAR.

    July 29, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. jarehad70

    i saw this same thing in iraq some guys just get in the truck and head out the gate to do some shopping or on some kind of "mission" and just head out sound like that is what happened because i heard one news report say that they were at a bazzar

    July 29, 2010 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. CareerNavyWife

    First, I want to offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of these two brave men. I remember my husband's unit NAVCHAPGRU (Navy Cargo & Handling) was given the presidential unit commendation for offloading supplies 24/7 on 12 hour shifts under scud fire during Desert Storm. They also got the pleasure of being chased by the enemy while bringing supplies to the forward camps. The Navy will always support their brothers in arms; it's simply the way it has always been, and always will be. There is always a surprising amount of crossover traffic in the service as personnel with particular skills are needed. The way I see it; we should ignore the "scuttlebutt"and lock down the loose talk while we wait for word. The most productive thing any of us can do right now is to keep these men and their families in our thoughts and prayers and offer them our solid support at this time. May the One who listens above bring you comfort at this time, my thoughts and prayers are for you and yours.

    July 29, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mindthief

    Costly way getting inside the enemy's camp. Heroic, for one.

    July 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SSG

    Michael Castleberry told you all what their Job was people they were over here training other military members how deal with the Afgha people. How to respect thr culture of the Afghan people, How to help the people over here help themselves have a better life. The Afghan People have been at war since 1979! The mediam age of the Afghan male is 19 don't you think that they have lost a lot of knowlege. How else can you explain did they go from being the bread basket of Asia to having to import almost all their food.

    Petty Officer, 2nd Class Justin McNeley, was over here to help the People of Afghanistan not to kill! The Taliban never improved the life of one Afghan. Where ever the Taliban are in control over here the people are starving unless you are Taliban. You know what the first thing they do after or fire fights? Pick up the left behind brass so they can sell it for money. They do that before tending to the dead that is how desperate they are. Good day folks I hope I got a few of you to thinking but I doubt it.

    July 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  16. etheismann

    Im sure the two Navy men were attached to a PRT in some province. More than likely SeaBee's.

    July 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  17. sunny

    Two man sniper team.....

    July 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Anna

    Its a shame this happen! Thoughts and prayers to the families of those two young men!
    For the general population and those that that know why sailors would be in the mountains, for years sailors have been serving Individual Agumentees (IA) orders to fill in the gaps in personel on the ground. Its not uncommon at all for sailors to be standing in the sand side by side the army and marines now. When I was still active duty about a third of the staff from our training command in the Navy were filliing billets overseas with other branches of the military. So maybe they were SEALS or SPECWAR, but they are still brave sailors that lost their lives defending us, which is no less honorable!!

    July 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  19. D Smith

    Justin McNeley was assigned to Assult Craft Unit One (ACU-1) which is not a SEAL Unit. Many Naval personnel deploy on land around the World. SEALs, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Divers, Contruction personnel are just a few of the units that operate on land. The last few years have seen a large number of Navy personnel surving as Individual Augmentees to all types of units and service organizations. Very unusual for two people in one vehicle going outside the wire. There are strict rules about the number or personnel, vehicles, and type of weapons required to go outside the wire. Having witnessed junior personnel disregarding these rules, wouldn't surprise me that these two did.

    July 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  20. AZC US Navy

    OPSEC is required and details should not be discussed by any military members. For more information contact your PAO or Security Manager for better clarification on OPSEC.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  21. GhostHunterGirl1969

    My heart and condolences go out to the friends and families of these gentlemen.

    July 28, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  22. Dom45ACP

    Deuce, learn how to read and write correctly before posting your random comments like a jerk.
    Learn the difference between 'there' and 'their.'

    July 28, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  23. Raul

    There is so much ignorance on display on CNN boards. Well, now I understand how we have our current government.

    July 28, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  24. Robrob

    If people would spend more time reading the news and less time fantasizing about "Navy SEALS on a two man mission to the local Bazar" you might be more informed.

    July 28, 2010 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  25. Devil Doc

    I been deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq several times as a Corpsman attach to Marines and is not clear to me of how two sailors got into a SUV and went out for a ride.

    It appears that some one was sleeping on watch!!! Before any vehicle or pediastrian exit or enter friendly lines alot checks have to happen and it obviously that did not happen when these two Sailors left the FOB in a single vehicle.

    July 28, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
    • True Devil DOC

      As a Corpsman myself it is easy to leave the wire in a Ranger. I did 2 in Iraq Ramadi/and TQ and I did an IA in Afghanistan three years ago in Logar. It was not hard at all to leave the wire. It has to do with the fact that a lot of people believe that the city of Kabul is immune to danger.

      November 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Deuce

    I like how everyone makes up there own story on what happened. They do not have to be a seal to be on land. They could be Corpsman,Seabees, EOD, or something else. Come on guys get a grip!!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Devil Doc

      I assure you they were not Corpsman, they probably some of the IA Sailors never been in Combat deployment before. Most of the Docs have at least 2 pumps under their belt with Marine infantry battalions..................

      July 28, 2010 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  27. Stephanie Van Riper

    My husband and I knew Justin McNeley and I am appalled by the comments being made. I ask everyone to remember that he gave his life serving our country and protecting our freedom. He was a father and had a family. We will miss him and our lives are better for knowing him. RIP Justin

    July 28, 2010 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Deuce

      Amen, I agree 100%. RIP McNeley and thank you for your sacrifice.

      July 28, 2010 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
    • SSG

      i am sorry you lost your friend. It appears they made a wrong turn and got lost. My prayers to their families.

      July 28, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. scott Van Riper

    I knew Justin, the service member Killed. He Would never put him self in harms way, I am assuming they were Lost and I know he went out fighting Rip Shipmate.


    July 28, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      As a former member of the United States Navy I am saddened to hear of the loss of your friend. May God rest his soul and may you and his family find peace knowing that he did his job and protected his friends and country no matter what anyone say.

      July 28, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  29. Crash

    Lets take our money from the Camel Jockeys and give it back to America!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  30. Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

    There is only one real GOD!!! Pray to Him and You will be praying to the real GOD!!! Who cares what you call Him???

    July 27, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. barako

    Seems like everybody is suggesting we pray to have the remaining sailor released. But to whom? Some say allah, some say Jehova, etc. etc. These gods are too busy to listen to prayers. Pray to the al qaida instead to release the young sailor!

    July 27, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crash

      Pray to Allah? Tell him we will give him 72 virgins??? He is probably already be-headed by now.

      July 28, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        Crash, you are probably right. Man I bet that type of death stings as you are still alive and breathing while this happens. Well, if its just 2 Sailors who took a chance to get out and about, not a smart move as they paid the ultimate price but, I still feel their is much more to the story as they knew they were in hostile territory and had to have known the risk involved,no something else was going on?????

        July 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  32. hm2tx

    Everyone regardless of who you are or what you believe has a higher power; and regardless of the men being
    " righteous " they nor their families deserved this to happen. There is great power in prayer. Freedom of religion is something this country was founded on. I agree it is time to bring the troops home; but in the meantime, i believe the only thing that we can do is show them support and PRAY!

    July 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  33. steve white

    If I was in the government this would be on my head. This countries hate us,get out you can't buy their friendship. I hate that we have lose one life in this country. WHY if someone could give me a reason we are there.

    July 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      That is where you are wrong!!! I bet that you feel the Country hate the President and the Democrats too here right??? The 2 percent of any of those that have the hate does not stand for the other 98 percent that is for them!!! The only difference is the 2 percent lies more so it makes it seem like everyone is on Their side... The Palestine doesn't hate Israel and the Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan People doesn't hate the Americans!!! It is Idiots like you that hates every body but yourself and your kind...

      July 27, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  34. cjgore

    We don't know what they were doing, but we know what they are not doing now. Time to stop and pray for them, and for their families...

    July 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • akmed

      Pray to whom. Assuming they were righteous, why would one need to pray? Pray to Mohamed? To Jehovah? Religion is why we are in this mess. Lets stop praying and do more thinking.

      July 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        I feel sorry for you that you don't believe in GOD!!! GOD never promise to make all things right... But as long as you live by His 10 Commandments you can't go wrong!!! It isn't GODS fault that different People can't get along with each other... But the People that is fighting on the right side will always over come those that aren't!!!

        July 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        Akmed, we are in this situation because the Taliban was hiding Osama Bin Laden from us. Remember he was the mastermind of 9/11. I just don't understand why people just don't get this. The Taliban also is a known terrorist group who kills without reason or remorse. They kill more innocent people like their own people than they do any military. Muslim on Muslim killing is their preferred method, that way they can demonstrate fear among their kind.

        July 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • HKIS

        Akmed...some of the most rational comments on this post

        July 29, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      I back Our troops 100 Percent!!! My Prayers are with them all the time... I protest ever Sunday so that when they get home... They will have a place to go to in Calif. if they have to!!! That is the best I can do for them right now... But some one has to fight for them here while they fight for us their!!!

      July 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deuce


      July 28, 2010 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  35. HDCaesar

    Time to bring our troops home. This has gone on way too long.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Who cares what you think??? I thing Our Generals know a lot more about the War than you do!!!

      July 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Carole Clarke

    You'd think we'd've trained guys better than to go off alone in hostile territory. Look back to when troopers were posted out in southern Arizona in the late 1800's. They knew what would happen if the Apaches caught them out there alone so they stayed in the forts. Very close comparison – a non-European people living close to the land that sees us as invaders – all bets are off if you get caught out there alone. I don't know what those two were doing out there but I hope they don't risk the lives of alot of other personnel trying to rescue him. Best bet is to barter for his return.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carole Clarke

      The only thing they'd want for him is shoulder-fired missile launchers and no -way that will happen. They're wise to ambushes too. Gold is honorable out there. Tempt the headmen with enough of it and they will cough up the men they are holding. He's probably already in Pakistan in one of those teeming cities chained to a pipe.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      What more can you expect from the Navy where they should never been in the first place???

      July 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chief D

        First let me tell you there aare more Sailors supporting army units then on ships. There better trained then the soldiers I know I got 5 deployments to Iraq and Afganistan and I have been with Army units and the dicipline is crap I will take a Navy guy any day over the trash thet have,

        July 27, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        Chief D, I agree fully with you. Lets look at the current situation with the Army, The WiKi leaks of classified information to the world. AGAIN, THE U S ARMY IS SHOWING US THIER DEDICATION AND DISCIPLINE WITH THIER TROOPSTERS. What a friggin embarrassment to America. This little bas****d should be hung at Levenworth!!!!! No other service in America's history has made the front pages more often in a negative light like our U.S. Army. A friggin undisciplined MOB!!!!!!! I wish the Army had to go through Marine Corps Boot Camp, heck only 10 would make it!!!!!!

        July 30, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Mike in Austin

    Carole, I was wondering the same thing. I served as a Marine in Iraq, and the idea of driving around with just two people in a vehicle in hostile territory was a bad idea at best. I don't get why SF personnel and contractors keep doing it as this is usually the result.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie Van Riper

      My husband and I knew Justin McNeley and I am appalled by the comments being made. I ask everyone to remember that he gave his life serving our country and protecting our freedom. He was a father and had a family. We will miss him and our lives are better for knowing him. RIP Justin

      July 28, 2010 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Navy Yeoman

      Your comment is offensive. The whole story isn't out, don't disparge someone whom you don't even know.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Juliana Williams

    It's been almost 9 yrs; since 911 and so many families have been affected by this terrible tragedy. As a military wife & one who knows all too well how families are affected each day, I believe it's time for us to bring our heroes home. My heart goes out to the Sailors families and I pray for the safe return of the one being held. The Culture of the Afghanistan people will never accept us or want American's on their territory; they don't value life like we do; so it's really time our soldiers come home! I've had two son's deployed to Iraq and it's so hard on the families and when the news and others speak ill about our military; it sends a bad message to these crazy people and the Taliban. Enough is enough, our brave men and women need to come home to their families!!!! The VA needs to do right by them!!!!!!!
    Mrs. Williams

    July 27, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      You are completely right about these People... They should be supporting Our Troops not bad mouthing what they are doing!!! I just wonder how many of them put Their lives out there for their Country??? It is easy to be holler than Thou when you didn't have to live the way Our Marines and Army had to do!!!
      I lose a lot of My Brothers in the Vietnam War... So I know what it is like losing People you respected from the time You knew them!!! Until they had that happen to them They should keep Their opinions to themselves!!!

      July 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Devil Doc

      Ma'am, thanks for those kinds words but this is what we signed to do and I do not see myself doing anything different and many of my brothers share my feelings.

      I have face dead in many occasions and lost many brothers in the past year. Please stop trying to know what we think or what we feel...............this is our life is our choice all volunteer service.....................

      July 28, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
      • ParaRigger

        Thanks for keeping things in perspective Devil Doc and maintaining a professional bearing. And thanks for serving...

        July 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |