Navy officials have identified the civilian service mariner whose body was recovered last week in Gaeta, Italy.

Raymond Bryant, 43, served since August as a steward utilityman aboard the USS Mount Whitney, the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet flagship.

A steward utilityman is an entry-level position in the ship’s steward department and is responsible for jobs such as cleaning the dining area and related housekeeping tasks, said Gillian Brigham, a spokeswoman with Sealift Logistics Command Europe.

Agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are investigating Bryant’s death. NCIS officials did not respond by deadline to questions regarding the investigation to include the cause of death.

Bryant, from Little Rock, Ark., last was seen in the early morning of Jan. 3 on Mount Whitney’s pier in Gaeta, a seaside resort town about an hour north of Naples.

The Mount Whitney, an amphibious command and control ship, is homeported in Gaeta.

Its crew of roughly 300 is a hybrid of U.S. sailors and civilian mariners of the Military Sealift Command.

Bryant failed to report for work the following Monday, Brigham said. His mother was notified Friday, the day after Italian divers recovered Bryant’s body submerged near the ship’s pier.

According to a report in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, Bryant and some co-workers had gone out Saturday night to a local pub.

As they returned to the pier, Bryant stepped away from them after receiving a phone call, and was not seen again by his co-workers.

Another news agency, La Provincia Latina, cited carabinieri officials as saying that Bryant might have accidentally fallen into the water and drowned.

U.S. Navy officials denied requests to interview any members of the crew, including the commanding officer, citing the ongoing investigation into Bryant’s death, Brigham said.

Officials had no information on memorial or funeral services.

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