WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States military has recovered the remains of the last American service member unaccounted for in Iraq, according to a statement released by the U.S. Army on Sunday.
Staff Sergeant Ahmed Kousay Altaie was an Army interpreter who was born in Iraq, but resided in the Ann Arbor area. The Army’s issued statement said that the military’s mortuary in Dover, Delaware had positively identified a set of remains as belonging to Altaie.
Altaie’s brother, Hathal Altaie, spoke with the Detroit Free Press after learning of the news. “We’ve been waiting for five years, suffering, not knowing if he’s dead or alive,” he said. “This was not the news we wanted, of course, but it’s better than staying like that, without ever knowing what happened to him.”
Altaie was kidnapped at gunpoint when he left a military base on a motorcycle to visit his Iraqi wife in central Baghdad. He was 41 years old when the group of militiamen seized him on October 23rd, 2006.
Army officials said they had no further information regarding the circumstances surrounding his death or the discovery of his remains.
The Free Press also reported that the family plans to bury Altaie in Ann Arbor.