Navy Seals allegedly killed Green Beret over theft discovery

Two Navy SEALs being investigated in the strangling death of a Green Beret in Mali may have sought to prevent him from revealing a money-skimming scheme, according to news reports.

Melgar's killing marked the latest violent death under mysterious circumstances for USA troops on little-known missions in that region of Africa.

The Pentagon said last week that an inquiry into the four soldiers' deaths would not be completed until January at the earliest. A military medical examiner determined the cause was "a homicide by asphyxiation".

"If the reported facts were established, the murder of Staff Sgt. Melgar would be among the most aggravating factors and could justify referral to courts-martial as capital cases", Brennan wrote to Business Insider.

The incident has threatened to stain the reputation of SEAL Team Six, the elite unit that carried out the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

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Until now, the biggest unanswered question in the case has been why Melgar was killed.

Melgar reportedly told his wife that he had "a bad feeling about two of his partners", the Daily Beast reported. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification course in 2016. These individuals may handle payments from small cash bags up to storage lockers filled with currency. The witness also said that the SEALs, who may have been afraid that their actions could be viewed as hazing, did not mention the duct tape in their interviews with investigators. Phillips later recalled leaning against a sack with the money inside on the lifeboat.

In a development that has sent shockwaves through the special operations community, two members of the elite SEAL Team Six have since been accused of strangling their fellow United States serviceman. Gunmen attacked a luxury resort in Mali the same month Melgar died, and in August there were two separate attacks on United Nations missions there. Matthews was also present, according to the report. Failing that, they rushed him to an emergency clinic, where he was pronounced dead. Add this to the Beast's report about illicit cash discovery, and the probe into Melgar's death has grown even more tangled. Melgar's friends and comrades told The Times that Melgar did not drink. Then, according to DeDolph and Matthews, the three fell onto Melgar's bed, with Matthews on top of Melgar. His identity was reported by The Intercept.

They reportedly claimed that he was drunk while they were engaging in hand-to-hand fighting exercises with him. The witness said DeDolph indicated that the two commandos had used duct tape on Melgar but deliberately did not tell investigators that detail for fear it would be considered hazing. He was assigned to Mali with the 3rd Special Forces Group to help train locals and support counterterrorism operations.

But Melgar was dead on arrival. The two men are under investigation and on administrative leave, the New York Times report said.

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