CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- The Army said Friday it has identified human remains found at Camp Shelby, Miss., more than a week ago as those of Spec. Ryan K. Longnecker, a Kentucky National Guard soldier who disappeared at the base last August, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.
No cause of death was given, but the Army's Criminal Investigation Command is investigating, reports the Herald-Leader.
Longnecker, 19, had been listed as absent without leave since he disappeared Aug. 6 at Camp Shelby, a 136,000-acre military training base near Hattiesburg, Miss., reports the newspaper.
He was training at the camp along with other members of the Kentucky National Guard's Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery. Longnecker went missing two days before the Carlisle-based unit shipped out for Iraq, reports the newspaper.
"Confirmation of Spec. Longnecker's death is a tragedy for the Kentucky National Guard Family," Kentucky Adjutant Gen. Edward Tonini said in a statement Friday. "We have all lived with uncertainty for nearly a year. I speak for all of our citizens, soldiers and airmen in expressing our condolences to Spec. Longnecker's family and supporting them in their time of grief."
Col. Earnie Shows, commander of the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, also expressed his sympathies in an official statement.
Longnecker's mother, Pamela Boyd of Glasgow, declined to comment Friday afternoon, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Copyright - The Lexington Herald-Leader