BAGHDAD – CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – Coalition forces have found the remains of two Soldiers who went missing in Mahmudiya, Iraq, May 12, 2007.
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Dover, Del., positively identified the human remains recovered in Iraq as those of Sgt. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass., and Pfc. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich. July 10.
The search to find Sgt. Jimenez and Pfc. Fouty ended when Coalition Special Operations Forces captured an individual July 1, suspected of knowing where the Soldiers were buried. The suspect’s information led investigators to the site several kilometers west of Jurf as-Sakhr, where the Soldiers’ remains were eventually recovered July 8. The remains were transported to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for identification July 9.
Sgt. Jimenez and Pfc. Fouty were reported missing after their unit was attacked by insurgent forces May 12, 2007. Their remains were recovered after a year-long search by Coalition forces.
The remains of a third Soldier reported missing in the ambush, Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif., was found by Iraqi police May 23, 2007.
All three Soldiers were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
Multi-National Division – Center and 10th Mountain Division commander, Maj. Gen. Michael L. Oates expressed his condolences to the families.
“Every combat death is a tragedy, but this has been especially difficult for the families of these two 10th Mountain Soldiers because of our not knowing for over a year of their whereabouts. We take solace in the fact that they are finally home.”
“Although this is a difficult and sad moment for the families and our Army, it is also a time in which each of these courageous families can finally bring to closure the loss of their loved ones,” said Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commanding general of Multi-National Corps - Iraq. “On behalf of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coalition force members of the Multi-National Corps - Iraq, our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families, and we remain committed to standing by them throughout this tough time … they will forever be an important part of our Army family. Our entire Army family stands with these two courageous families in this time of need.
“We are deeply indebted and grateful to all of those service members involved in searching for these two great Americans for more than a year,” Austin said. “It has been a tough and relentless search, but one that reinforces to all of us who serve today that we will never leave our comrades behind.”
The incident remains under investigation.
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