Sad conclusion to the latest missing Iraq veteran case.
Condolences to Eric Hall's family and a great debt of gratitude to the volunteer Vietnam veteran, Charles Shaughnessy, who would not leave a fellow battle brother behind until he was found.
From the WINK News [Ft. Myers]:
The father of Missing Marine Eric Hall says he believes the body found this weekend in Deep Creek is his son's. Kevin Hall says the body found in a drainage pipe by a volunteer had a titanium hip like Eric's and had on the same clothes Eric was wearing the night he disappeared.
Hall has been missing since February 3rd when a witness told wink news he saw Hall jump off his motorcycle and run into the woods. His family says Eric suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after a tour of duty in Iraq. The Medical Examiner's Office is still awaiting dental records for an identification of the body.
The family has scheduled a memorial service for Eric Hall. It will be held this Thursday, March 13th at noon at the Faith Lutheran Church in Punta Gorda. The family says Eric will be buried at home in Indiana.
In educational interest, article(s) quoted from extensively.
From the Charlotte Sun-Herald:
Charles Shaughnessy had been inside the drainage ditch twice, but something felt different this time. The morning air was thick with an unmistakable stench. It was coming from the pipe, a manhole-sized cylinder hidden beneath thick brush in Harbour Heights.
Shaughnessy and other volunteers had spent weeks searching for Eric Hall, the 24-year-old Iraq veteran who went missing Feb. 3. Their efforts led back to the pipe. This time, Shaughnessy would crawl 50 yards through rotten sediment and bugs to discover decomposed human remains. Authorities have not identified the body, but people close to the search suspect it could be Hall.
"My heart goes out to that family," said Shaughnessy, a decorated Vietnam veteran who specialized in tunnel searches during the war.
Shaughnessy was spearheading a search Sunday with Eric's mother, Becky Hall, and another Marine when he detected a terrible odor coming from the drainage pipe. The 60-year-old Gulf Cove man had recovered sneakers from the pipe several weeks earlier, and even camped near the site to monitor movement.
Shaughnessy had entered the pipe again last Thursday, but found nothing. This time, he would venture further.