Until now, the biggest unanswered question in the case has been why Sergeant Melgar was killed. But new clues are emerging on that front.
An American service member who knew Sergeant Melgar said he was under the impression that the sergeant had stumbled on some sort of money-skimming scheme involving the Navy commandos. A retired senior enlisted sailor who served in SEAL Team 6 said Sergeant Melgar discovered the scam and threatened to report the Navy commandos to the authorities.
.. Cash from funds to pay informants has a way of going missing, military officials said. Skimming money from funds, which in Mali could be as much as $20,000 at any given time, is relatively easy because the service members are often dealing with sources who are illiterate and cannot sign their names to a receipt.
.. surviving pirate, Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, describes how Captain Phillips gave roughly $30,000 in cash from the safe aboard the Maersk to the pirates, money that soon disappeared.
.. According to one version of events surrounding the death in Mali, from a military official, one of the SEALs put Sergeant Melgar in a chokehold. When the sergeant passed out, the commandos frantically tried to revive him. Failing that, they rushed him to an emergency clinic, where he was pronounced dead.
.. the sergeant’s chain of command immediately grew suspicious when the initial incident reports said the death was the result of a drunken accident. His friends and superiors knew Sergeant Melgar did not drink.
.. One of the SEAL commandos under investigation is Petty Officer Tony E. DeDolph, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter,