— The search for Army Sgt. Keith M. Maupin continued in Regimental Combat Team 5’s area of operations recently. A team of Marines, U.S. Army and British soldiers fanned out across several sites to search for the remains of the soldier missing for more than two years. The team searched in two separate locations in this town north of Fallujah. Marines from 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment assisted in the search.
Maupin is the only missing U.S.servicemember from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Navy Capt. Michael Scott Speicher, shot down during Operation Desert Storm, is the only other missing U.S.servicemember in
. This search marked the 86th separate site searchers combed through looking for any sign of Maupin.
A single, surface-laid bone was found. It was about six inches long, found at the second survey site. The single bone was bagged, labeled and shipped from Camp Fallujah to Balad Air Base and eventually delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Md. Tests there by experts later proved the bone was not that of Maupin’s, but that of an animal.
Still, no efforts are wasted in locating the missing soldier.“This is very important for us to do this,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven J. Nesbit, a 49-year-old member of the Personnel Recovery Detachment from Multi-National Corps-Iraq in
. “Any Coalition member lives by that creed that we never leave anyone behind.”
Maupin was taken captive by insurgents April 9, 2004 near Abu Ghraib, after his convoy was attacked. He was show in insurgent propaganda films in uniform and later, insurgents claimed to have shot and killed the soldier. The clip, shot under night vision, was grainy and unclear and experts were never able to verify if the shooting victim was, in fact, Maupin.
It was the second time searchers from MNCI came to RCT-5’s area to search for remains. Searchers arrived in March and searched two sites south of Fallujah with Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. At least two sets of remains were dug from crude graves on a desert hilltop in that search. Tests conducted after that search revealed that they were not that of Maupin