Body found in off-base field identified as Mildenhall airman
The body found Friday in a field about four miles from RAF Mildenhall is that of an Air Force sergeant assigned to the 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, U.S. military officials said Sunday.
Master Sgt. Bernard Huggins was last seen on Nov. 12 and declared missing when he did not show up for work on Nov. 14, officials said. On Sunday, a U.S. Air Force spokeswoman said an official cause of death was not yet available.
On Saturday, though, British officials said a post-mortem exam has been completed and that “police are satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the man’s death.”
The post mortem was performed by Dr. Nat Carey at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, officials said. The case has since been forwarded to the coroner.
The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and British officials are conducting a joint investigation, said Tech. Sgt. Cindy Dorfner, a 100th Air Refueling Wing spokeswoman. Late Saturday, the British Broadcasting Corporation quoted Suffolk police officials as saying the death was not being treated as suspicious.
Huggins, 33, was a 14-year veteran of the Air Force and had been stationed at Mildenhall since 2003.
“We’ve been deeply concerned about his safety over the past week and we’re devastated about today’s news,” Col. Michael S. Stough, 100th Air Refueling Wing commander, was quoted as saying in a Sunday news release. “Sergeant Huggins was a valuable member of our team and his loss will be felt for a long time to come. Now, our focus will turn to caring for those closest to him.”
Huggins was last seen by a taxi driver when he was dropped off outside the Judes Ferry Pub in West Row on Nov. 12.
His body was discovered Friday night in a field in the village of Freckenham, officials said. British police had searched the West Row area with search dogs and a helicopter.