U.S. Army identifies remains of last U.S. soldier unaccounted for in Iraq

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The remains of United States Staff Sergeant Ahmed K. Altaie of Ann Arbor, Michigan, were identified on Saturday. Although Army officials provided no details surrounding his death, the military’s mortuary in Dover, Delaware positively identified Altaie's remains. Altaie was the last missing United States service member unaccounted for in Iraq.

Altaie was born in Iraq and moved to the United States during his teenage years. He served as a translator for the U.S. Army when he was abuducted on October 23, 2006, having joined the Army Reserve two years before.

Altaie took a motorcycle trip from Baghdad's Green Zone to visit his Iraqi wife when three abductor's pulled up, handcuffed the 41 year old, and left with him. Iraqi officials offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to Altaie.

In February 2007, a ten-second video posted on a militant Shiite website appeared to be of Altaie.

Hathal Altaie, the man's brother, told McClatchy, "We’ve been waiting for five years, suffering, not knowing if he’s alive or dead. This was not the news we wanted, of course, but it’s better than staying like that, without ever knowing what happened to him."