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An airman missing off a Guam beach for four days was declared dead Wednesday.

Andersen Air Force Base officials declined to say whether the death was accidental or happened when he was on or off duty.

Declared dead was Airman 1st Class Michael McDonald. He’d been deployed from North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base to the 5th Maintenance Squadron within the 36th Maintenance Squadron. McDonald, 21, who joined the Air Force in 2004, had been missing since Jan. 27.

Rescue teams searched the waters around Tarague Beach to no avail, according to the base’s public affairs office. Searchers included the Guam Police Department, Guam Fire and Rescue Unit, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Assateague, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, a P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and Andersen’s fire department water rescue team.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Airman McDonald’s family and friends during this tragic event,” Brig. Gen. Douglas Owens, 36th Wing commander, said in a statement released Wednesday.

The investigation into McDonald’s death continues.


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