Missing Soldiers: Weapons Found
Thursday, October 11, 2007
A major stroke of luck came to us at Task Force Marne:
Missing weapons recovered near Iraqi home
Camp Striker, Thursday, 11 October 2007 14:30
Weapons that once belonged to a missing Soldier and two others who were killed in action were recovered outside of an Iraqi's house in Fetoah Village, Iraq Oct. 9.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., followed Concerned Local Citizens to the cache site just seven miles north of where 2nd BCT Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment were killed and kidnapped May 12.
The cache consisted of 28 blasting caps in their original packaging, 50 pounds of home made explosives, three 60mm mortar rounds, an AK-47 and matching rigged pouch, two U.S. M-4s (one with a M-203 grenade launcher attached), a single M-203 and a M-249 squad automatic weapon.
After finding the M-4s and the M-203, analysts checked each of the serial numbers to identify to whom they belonged. The M-249 belonged to Spc. Alex Jimenez Jr., who was abducted by terrorists after his position was attacked May 12 in Qarghulli Village. Currently, Jimenez and Pvt. Byron Fouty are classified as missing-captured.
One of the M-4s with the M-203 attached to it belonged to Sgt. Anthony Schoeber, who was killed in the same attack. Another M-4 belonged to Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., a Soldier who was classified as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown for 11 days after the May 12 attack until he was found dead near the Euphrates River.
The Soldiers' identification cards and wallets were found in an al-Qaeda safe house in Samara, Iraq, in Multi-National Division -North's area of operations, but these weapons are the first piece of physical evidence in the 2nd BCT's area of operations.
During the search, Soldiers also discovered a man-made hide site near the house that the weapons were discovered. During this latest search, nine locals who were in the area were detained and are being held for questioning.
The weapons that were found will be turned over to the Criminal Investigations Department for fingerprints and DNA samples. 2 BCT Soldiers will continue to patrol the area of operations in search of more evidence that can lead them to the missing Soldiers or the attackers.
This find comes only weeks before the 2nd BCT will be replaced by the 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., who will continue the search for the missing Soldiers and their attackers.
America will not give up on its fighting men.