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The bodies of two U.S. sailors found dead on New Year’s morning in a Ghana hotel room were examined by a coroner and flown back to the U.S., but the Navy is declining to say how the sailors died.

Seaman Lonnie Lee Davis Jr., 35, of Riverdale, Ga., and Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Brendan Mack, 22, of Warren, Mich., were discovered by a fellow sailor who was staying at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

Davis and Mack were on liberty from the USS Fort McHenry, which was in port at Tema, located about 18 miles east of Accra. The Fort McHenry is the flagship of a U.S. military presence in the Gulf of Guinea.

Lt. Patrick Foughty, a spokesman with the Naples, Italy-based 6th Fleet, said the bodies of the two sailors were examined Saturday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Foughty said the Navy would not publicly release the preliminary results of the autopsy.

“It’s part of an investigation, and since it is ongoing we want to make sure we have everything together,” Foughty said. “We want to make sure we make the right assessment as to what happened.”

A spokesman for the Europe Regional Medical Command in Heidelberg, Germany, which oversees military autopsies conducted in Europe, also declined to state the cause of Davis’ and Mack’s deaths, citing command policy.

The Ghanaian police are leading the investigation into the deaths, Foughty said, with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Foughty said that there was no apparent evidence of foul play at the scene.

Foughty declined to comment on a report that a third sailor was found unconscious at the scene but later treated at a local hospital and released.

Daniel Mack, father of Patrick Brendan Mack, said by telephone on Thursday morning that he had not heard anything definitive from the Navy on what happened to his son. Stars and Stripes was unsuccessful in its attempts to reach Davis’ family by telephone.

The La Palm Royal was one of four hotels in Accra at which sailors were approved to stay during their liberty from the Fort McHenry, Foughty said.

The ship, a dock landing craft built to support land-sea operations, is home to about 450 sailors and 100 additional personnel who are on a seven-month deployment of the Gulf of Guinea, part of central Africa’s Atlantic Coast.


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