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European edition, Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Military medical investigators are still trying to determine what caused the death of a former battalion commander’s teenage son, though the reason could be known soon, an official said.

It has been more than two months since Justin Schacht, 15, the son of Lt. Col. Eric Schacht, was found dead in the family’s on-post home in Schweinfurt, Germany, after returning from a trip to Italy with a Christian youth club.

German and U.S. authorities have ruled out the possibility of foul play in Schacht’s June 21 death, according to a release from the Schweinfurt garrison’s public affairs office.

An autopsy performed at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center produced no initial findings, said Chuck Roberts, a Landstuhl spokesman. An analysis of samples taken from Schacht and sent to an Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, or AFIP, lab near Washington, D.C., is not yet complete.

Roberts could not say what types of tests were being done, or what kinds of samples were taken, citing privacy concerns. A spokesman for AFIP would not release any information about the case, also because of privacy.

However, results of the tests could be available within the next two weeks, according to Roberts.

Investigations in similar cases usually take about six weeks to complete, and this investigation is taking an unusually long time, Roberts said.

Lt. Col. Schacht, who was deployed as commander of Schweinfurt’s 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, when his son died, has since been replaced as commander.

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