Additional remains of U.S. soldier Sgt. La David Johnson were found on Nov. 12 at the site in Niger where his body was recovered, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.
Johnson and three other U.S. soldiers — Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright — were killed when their patrol of 12 U.S. and 30 Nigerien forces was ambushed by an ISIS-affiliated group when leaving the village of Tongo Tongo on Oct. 4.
“We can confirm that the Armed Forces Medical Examiner has positively identified these remains as those of Sgt. Johnson,” Dana W. White, chief spokesperson for the Department of Defense, said in a statement today. “The department continues to conduct a detailed and thorough investigation into the deaths of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright and Sgt. La David T. Johnson. We extend our deepest condolences to all of the families of the fallen.”
The U.S. official said Johnson’s family has been notified of the discovery.
Last month Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, told ABC News she was prevented from viewing his remains before he was buried in his home state of Florida on Oct. 21.
“Why couldn’t I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me,” Myeshia Johnson said in an Oct. 23 interview with “Good Morning America.” “They told me that he’s in a severe wrap — like, I won’t be able to see him. I need to see him so I will know that that is my husband.”
She added, “They won’t show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband’s body from head to toe, and they won’t let me see anything. I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty for all I know, but I need to see my husband. I haven’t seen him since he came home.”
A joint team of U.S. Africa Command and Niger military investigators visited the site of the ambush on Nov. 12 as part of the investigation, which the U.S. Army expects to conclude in January.
“As part of its mission, the AFRICOM investigation team interviewed local villagers, conducted a physical examination of multiple areas of interest related to the attack and retraced actions leading up to, during and after this ambush,” U.S. Africa Command said in a press release.
According to the U.S. official, the body of Johnson was not located until two days after the attack. In circumstances that remain unclear, he became separated from the rest of the group and his body was later turned over by the village to the Nigerien military.