February 6, 2009 – Amid an escalating controversy that has lawmakers and family members clamoring for answers into the electrocution deaths of soldiers in Iraq, Army criminal investigators have re-opened three additional cases that initially had been ruled accidents.
Army Criminal Investigation Command said today that it has re-opened three other electrocution death cases in January, along with the re-opening of the case of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, an Army Special Forces soldier who died Jan. 2, 2008, when he was electrocuted in his barracks shower in Baghdad.
“We currently have four ongoing investigations involving electrocutions, one of which is the Maseth death case, CID spokesman Chris Grey told Army Times.
Results of Maseth’s investigation are not complete, but his family was notified in December that Maseth’s death, initially listed as “accidental,” is now considered “negligent homicide,” The Associated Press reported.
Army CID would not comment, saying that the investigation is ongoing.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service also has reopened the investigation into the death of Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (FMF) David Cedergren, who died Sept. 11, 2004, in an outdoor shower at Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah, Iraq.
These five cases under investigation are among 18 deaths by electrocution, including those of 16 service members and two contractors, being investigated by the Defense Department.