Coroner: Hypothermia, alcohol led to Mildenhall airman's death
By BEN MURRAY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 28, 2006
RAF MILDENHALL, England — Alcohol and hypothermia combined to kill RAF Mildenhall Master Sgt. Bernard Huggins last November, according to a report on the death that was recently made public.
An autopsy, performed by an English coroner, showed no trace of drugs in the airman’s system, but Huggins did have a blood-alcohol content of .12, said Capt. Regen Wilson of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. In driving, the legal blood-alcohol level in the United Kingdom is .08.
Huggins’ body was found by three hunters in a field several miles from his home, six days after he went missing Nov. 12.
Huggins, 33, assigned to the 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was last seen by a taxi driver who dropped him off at a pub near his home just after 10:30 the night he went missing.
From the outset, English police handling the case did not consider the cause of death suspicious, but little official word regarding the circumstances was made public.
The report appears to confirm the theory of Huggins’ ex-wife, who said at the time of his memorial that she believed her former husband had been drinking, took a wrong turn at the pub and later passed out in the field and froze to death.
At the time, the two were planning to remarry sometime this year, she said.