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LANDSTUHL, Germany — An answer as to what specifically caused the death of a 29-year-old airman this week should be available soon to his family, now that an autopsy has been completed.

The final results of the autopsy performed this week at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joey Link are pending, hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw said.

Link, 29, died Sunday at Landstuhl from natural causes, according to a Department of Defense news release.

“Natural causes” is generally used to describe health-related deaths that did not occur as a result of combat or non-combat accidents, according to media reports.

Link, from Portland, Tenn., was assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, the DOD release stated.

Link’s mother, Vickie Lovell, told a Nashville television station that her son had flown to Iraq and back several times safely, but he became ill shortly after a trip to Africa. Lovell was told Aug. 3 that her son was on a respirator.

Link was working as a C-130 Hercules flight engineer deployed to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, according to media reports.


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