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Navy SEAL Ryan Owens' dog tags missing from memorial

By ANDY KRAVETZ | Journal Star, Peoria, Ill. (Tribune News Service) | Published: September 19, 2017

CHILLICOTHE — Dog tags from a fallen U.S. Navy SEAL from Illinois went missing over the weekend, says Chillicothe's police chief.

Scott Mettille says his department was notified that the Ryan Owens' metal dog tags, which were part of the Veterans Memorial in Chillicothe, were missing. The tags were last seen hanging from a rifle and boots sculpture.

Senior Chief William "Ryan" Owens, a 1998 graduate of Illinois Valley Central High School, was killed Jan. 29 while on a special operations mission against members of Al-Qaida in Yemen.

Mettille said his department is in the process of an investigation into the missing tags but for now, there is a "no questions asked" return police.

"We just want them back. The VFW, the Legion and the other veterans organizations just want the tags back," he said. "You could mail them to one of those groups or to the police station or even just walk it into the VFW or the Legion."

A blogger in Chillicothe posted about the missing tags, saying that "veteran Jeff Anderson is requesting whoever removed them to mail them to him with no questions asked to: 621 Park Hill Dr. Chillicothe , IL 61523."

The Defense Department said Owens was assigned to an East Coast-based Special Warfare unit, but multiple news outlets have said Owens was assigned to SEAL Team 6, a highly classified and elite counter-terrorism unit that also is known by the term DEVGRU. Three other sailors, presumably with the same SEAL team, were injured in the raid. The raid left nearly 30 others dead, including an estimated 14 militants. At least one young girl also died during the raid.

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Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens.

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