After confronting two Navy SEALs following the discovery of their alleged involvement in a money-making scheme, Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, 34, ended up dead in Mali by strangulation, according to a report from the Daily Beast.
Melgar, a Green Beret, was allegedly offered to join the racket in which the two Navy SEALs allegedly kept military money that was supposed to be used to pay informants. But Melgar apparently declined their offer and was later found dead.
The two SEALs — who are members of Team 6, the unit famous for killing Osama bin Laden — are now under investigation for allegedly killing Melgar, the New York Times first reported at the end of the October. It is believed by some military experts to be the first case in which elite U.S. troops turned on one another, according to the Daily Beast.
The Times reported that Melgar was found dead June 4 at the U.S. Embassy housing he shared in Mali with other special operations personnel working in West Africa on training and counterterrorism missions.
The two SEALs were placed on administrative leave, pending investigation, according to the Times, although no charges have been filed.
When Melgar’s death was discovered, the two SEALS apparently went into a panic, the Daily Beast reported. They told superiors that Melgar was drunk during hand-to-hand fighting exercises known as “combatives.”
However, the SEALs apparently didn’t realize that an autopsy would determine if alcohol or drugs were found in Melgar’s system. An Africa Command official who saw the autopsy report said no drugs or alcohol were found in Melgar’s system at the time of his death, and another source believes he forewent alcohol entirely, according to the Daily Beast.
That was the point when the SEALs’ account truly began to fall apart.
Another Africa Command official told the Daily Beast that Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, then commander of Special Operations Command-Africa, was suspicious of the two SEALs’ story from the start. He notified Army Criminal Investigation Command of his suspicions and told commanders in Mali to preserve evidence related to the case.
Three sources told the Daily Beast that Melgar’s wife, Michelle, was also skeptical of the SEALs’ story. Those sources claim she raised concerns about his cause of death and the reports of his drinking. She gave investigators emails her husband had sent her in which he confided in her about problems he was having with the SEALs.
Melgar was from Lubbock, Texas, and had twice served in Afghanistan. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that Melgar graduated from Texas Tech in 2006 and that he enlisted in 2012, joining the Army as an “18X” — an off-the-street Special Forces recruit. In 2016, he completed the Special Forces Qualification course.
“Staff Sgt. Melgar did what most only dream of and excelled at every turn!” wrote a Melgar family representative on social media. “His life was epic! He is missed dearly every single day, but his legacy lives on.”