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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — After this week’s funeral and memorial service for a Korean soldier assigned to the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, there is still no official word on the cause of his death.

Sgt. Jo Kyong-yeon, 23, was a South Korean augmentee to the U.S. Army stationed at Camp Sears. His body was found near a Tongduchon apartment building Sept. 19.

Originally, police speculated his death was suicide, but no official confirmation has been made.

Jo, a Seoul native and the administrative assistant and senior augmentee of Headquarters Battery, 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery, was remembered by colleagues as “a deeply respected and greatly admired young man.”

Battalion commander Lt. Col. Chris Spillman and 2ID Assistant Division Commander for Support Brig. Gen. John Shortal both attended a private funeral Sunday for Jo, Army officials said.

On Tuesday, a memorial service was held at Camp Casey. A bugler played taps and an honor guard fired a 21-gun salute to close the service.

“His loss is going to be sorely felt by all who knew him,” Spillman said, according to an Army news release.

The Republic of Korea Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the case.

A Korean news report quoted the apartment manager as saying he heard a loud thud and found Jo’s body on the ground near the apartment.

Jo’s military awards included the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and 2003 Best KATUSA Award for 5th Battalion.


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