NPR logo Speicher's Family Thankful, But Does Not Believe He Died In Crash


Speicher's Family Thankful, But Does Not Believe He Died In Crash

Navy Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher. U.S. Navy photo/AP hide caption

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U.S. Navy photo/AP

Word that Navy Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher's remains have been found in Iraq, 18 years after he was shot down over that country on the first night of the first Gulf War, has brought some closure to his family.

But, The Florida Times-Union reports, the family members' lawyer says they still have questions:

"We're discrediting the rumor that he died in the crash," (lawyer) Cindy Laquidara said in an interview. "That's just not accurate."

That information does not fit with data the family has collected over the years, she said, an issue it will bring up during an expected meeting with the Defense Department.

As the Times-Union adds:

In 1995 — two years after the Pentagon said the crash site was found — Speicher's family was told his jet had been found with evidence he ejected and survived, and in 1999, an Iraqi defector told investigators he drove an American pilot to Baghdad about a month after the Persian Gulf War began.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that the news of the remains' discovery "brought a sense of sadness and resolve to those who had been intensely following Speicher's disappearance, including U.S. Bill Nelson, members of a high-school support group in his native Jacksonville and supporters on the (Florida State University) campus, where the $1.2 million Scott Speicher Tennis Center was named in his honor in 1993."