U.S. General: Search Persists for Missing GIs

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq speaks at a press conference i i

hide captionMaj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq, speaks at a press conference as Ali al-Dabagh, Iraqi government spokesman (left) listens in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Ahmad-Pool/Getty Images
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq speaks at a press conference

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq, speaks at a press conference as Ali al-Dabagh, Iraqi government spokesman (left) listens in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Ahmad-Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. military is reporting that it has in its custody the body of an American soldier, believed to be one of the three missing since May 12. The soldier has not yet been identified.

The search for the other missing U.S. soldiers continues, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell tells NPR's Robert Siegel — and it will remain the sole mission until their whereabouts are determined. Caldwell is the chief spokesman for the Multinational Force in Iraq.

Military Has Identified Body, Soldier's Family Says

A family member says a body of a U.S. soldier found Wednesday in the Euphrates River in Iraq has been identified as a Torrance, Calif., man who was abducted with two comrades during a May 12 ambush.

Military officials told the family of Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. that a commanding officer identified the body, but DNA tests are still pending.

"They told us, 'We're sorry to inform you the body we found has been identified as Joe,'" said Debbie Anzack, the aunt of Pfc. Anzack.

Anzack, 20, was one of three soldiers who vanished after their combat team was ambushed May 12 about 20 miles outside of Baghdad.

Initial reports that a second body had been found in the area proved false, Lt. Col. Josslyn Aberle said Thursday.

Thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops have joined in a search for the three soldiers, who have been missing since the attack that killed four other soldiers and an Iraqi translator as they patrolled an area near Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad.

Caldwell said the massive search effort is continuing.

"We will not stop until we are able to find our three, missing soldiers," Caldwell said.

Bombings and shootings continued to claim lives on Tuesday and Wednesday. Several U.S. soldiers and two Marines were killed in separate attacks on Tuesday, U.S. military officials reported. That brings the U.S. death toll to at least 80 this month.

In April, 104 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq.

At least 18 Iraqis were killed Wednesday.

Written by Deborah Tedford with reporting from NPR and the Associated Press.

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