Reporting from Camp Mike Spann, Afghanistan — The second of two American servicemen who disappeared last week in a Taliban-infested area south of the Afghan capital has been confirmed dead as well, a U.S. military official and Afghan authorities said Thursday.
The body of Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove was recovered and his family notified, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Newlove, 25, of Renton, Wash., was a recalled reservist serving as a culinary specialist.
Newlove and his companion, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley, were ambushed by Taliban fighters July 23 in Lowgar province. The Taliban initially said it had killed one of the men in a firefight and captured the other.
The body of McNeley, a 30-year-old father of two who enlisted in 2001, was recovered Sunday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said this week. Provincial spokesman Din Mohammed Darwesh said Newlove's remains were found Wednesday.
It was not immediately known whether Newlove had died of wounds suffered in the firefight or was killed by insurgents while in captivity.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials have declined to say what the two were doing in Lowgar, and whether their trip was sanctioned by their superiors. The part of the province where they were ambushed was considered so dangerous that even Afghan officials were hesitant to venture there.
With Newlove's death, only one American is known to be in Taliban captivity. He is Idaho National Guardsman Bowe Bergdahl, who was seized 13 months ago in eastern Afghanistan.
Times staff writer Tony Perry in San Diego contributed to this report.