Maupin Video Inconclusive
NYT – Videotape Shows No Proof G.I. Is Dead, Pentagon Says [no RSS]
Military investigators found that a videotape held no proof that Iraqi militants had executed Specialist Keith Matthew Maupin, an American soldier who disappeared in Iraq, and soldiers and civilians continue to search for him, Maj. Mark Magalski, an Army liaison officer assisting the family, said at a news conference on Monday. Major Magalski said Department of Defense investigators had completed their review of the tape, which had been shown on Al Jazeera, the Arab language satellite network, and had found the information inconclusive. “The video was so grainy,” he said. “It was shot at night. We can’t be sure there was even a person in the video.” The officer also said the Army continued to hunt for Specialist Maupin, a 21-year-old Army Reserve soldier who disappeared on April 9 when his convoy was attacked outside Baghdad. “At the present time, Specialist Maupin’s status remains unchanged – he is officially captured,” Major Magalski said.
Major Magalski and Keith and Caroline Maupin, the soldier’s parents, said outside the family’s home in this suburb of Cincinnati that they remained hopeful that the soldier would be found.
“Military and civilian personnel continue efforts to locate Specialist Maupin and are searching throughout Iraq,” Major Magalski said. He acknowledged that the military had no solid leads about the soldier’s whereabouts but said it continued to track tips. The soldier’s parents said they had never given up hope that their son remained alive. They said they had scheduled the news conference to note that it had been four months since their son had disappeared and that they wanted to deliver a message of hope to him. They also wanted to praise the military for continuing the search for their son. “We’re confident that our son will return home someday,” Mr. Maupin said.
The only word on Specialist Maupin came in a videotape a week after his capture that showed him seated on a floor surrounded by a half-dozen armed men with their faces covered. A videotape in June retrieved by United States military officials showed an execution of a man thought to be Specialist Maupin. Military officials quickly discounted the tape but continued to review it.
Not giving up would seem the thing to do under the circumstances. Still, it is almost certainly a false hope given that it has been months since SPC Maupin was last seen alive.
For background see:
Missing G.I. Held Hostage (April 17)
SPC Keith M. Maupin Murdered (June 28)