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A missing sailor assigned to the submarine USS City of Corpus Christi has been presumed dead following an intensive weeklong search, U.S. Naval Base Guam officials said in a news release issued Thursday afternoon.

The Navy launched an investigation into the disappearance of Petty Officer 2nd Class Julio Owen Francis on April 20 after his vehicle was found at Tarague Beach on Andersen Air Force Base. It’s believed Francis, 23, was snorkeling in the area, where turbulent seas and high winds may have contributed to an accident, the release stated.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and shipmates of the sailor as they grieve,” said Lt. Donnell Evans, a U.S. Naval Base Guam spokesman. “This is an unfortunate situation.”

The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, Guam Fire Department, Andersen’s 36th Security Forces Squadron, Navy maritime patrol aircraft and Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted the search and investigation. The search effort covered about 2,186 square miles and spanned 92 miles offshore.

The City of Corpus Christi is under way but Francis had remained on Guam because he was outprocessing from the Navy, Evans said last week.


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