Three Turkish hostages have been let go. The military has confirmed the capture of Marine Corporal Hassoun.
And many of you know that Army Soldier Keith Maupin was murdered in Iraq. Al Jazeera claims that he was executed by being shot in the head while kneeling in front of a shallow grave.
Keith Maupin grew up in Batavia, Ohio. The good people of his hometown are rallying around his family during this trying time and keeping the media away.
Captured Soldier's Hometown Protective Of Family
Maupin Reportedly Killed In Iraq
BATAVIA, Ohio -- Residents brush past reporters, unwilling to be interviewed about a soldier taken captive in April. People in passing cars shout vulgarities at reporters gathered near the soldier's home after an Arab television station reported that captors had killed him.
The community has pulled together not only to support the family of 20-year-old Spc. Keith M. Maupin but also to protect the relatives from a deluge of attention that has redeveloped as the Army tries to determine whether the TV report is true.
Respecting the relatives' privacy is one thing residents can do to support them, Bob Handra, manager and part-owner of Batavia Electric Supply Inc., said Tuesday at his store.
"It doesn't surprise me a bit that they are doing this and have come together around the family. That's the way we do things here," said Handra, a former mayor of this village about 20 miles east of Cincinnati in Clermont County, where urban sprawl is overtaking former farmlands.
"People feel they can help support the family by protecting their privacy and not talking about them. We're near a big city, but we all still stick together," said Stephanie Heckler, 23, who works in Batavia and lives in the Ohio River town of New Richmond.
At least a half dozen people declined interviews Tuesday, walking past when a reporter approached them on the sidewalk in the village's business district.
"It's just a small, close-knit community," said Donna Marshall, 45, of Batavia, as she sat Tuesday at a picnic table in a township park where residents set up an electric light for Maupin that always is kept on. "We put up a poster of the boy (Maupin) in the restaurant where I work, and everyone seemed to appreciate it.Good for the folks of Batavia - they are doing the right thing here - taking care of the Maupins during this time. We all know the media won't...
"Everyone tends to know who everyone is -- even if they don't personally know them -- in a small town like this," Marshall said. "I think everyone just wants the family to be left alone."
On Monday, a woman who showed up to place a small American flag and a yellow ribbon at a display of support of Maupin on a fence near Glen Este High School -- where Maupin graduated from in 2001 -- politely declined an interview.
"If you're with the news, I don't want to talk to you," she said.
Some people shouted at reporters who gathered Monday night near the home of Carolyn Maupin, about five miles west of Batavia, after the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera aired video showing a blindfolded man sitting on the ground. Al-Jazeera said in the next scene, gunmen shot the man in the back of the head, in front of a hole dug in the ground. It did not show the execution.
The station said Iraqi militants killed the soldier after holding him hostage for nearly three months because the U.S. government did not change its policy in Iraq.
Maupin, who is listed by the military as captured, was taken captive after his convoy was attacked April 9 west of Baghdad.
The Army is examining the dark, grainy video, but so far says it cannot determine the identity of the person, said Maj. Mark Magalski, an Army officer assigned since April to support the Maupin family.
Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, an Army spokeswoman, said officials generally will not make a final determination that a soldier has died until remains are recovered.
"We can't make any outward assumption that it's him," she said of the person on the video.
The Maupin family is refraining from public comment until Army investigators reach conclusions, said Magalski, who has been serving as a spokesman for the family.
The soldier's parents have avoided interviews since their son was taken captive. They occasionally have appeared at public rallies and vigils in support of their son, sometimes without notice.
Yellow ribbons have been in place for weeks on utility poles, signs and at businesses near Maupin's home. About 200 people attended a vigil for Maupin in the rain Monday night in Batavia.