Mystery death on Skype: What killed US captain in Afghanistan?
The captain, a chief nurse who deployed to Afghanistan in March, was speaking with his wife via Skype when he pitched forward. The Army is investigating but does not suspect foul play.
Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark was speaking via Skype with his wife Susan Oreliana-Clark on May 1 when he was â€śsuddenly knocked forward,â€ť according to statement released by his wife on Sunday.
â€śThere was no sign that CPT Clark was in any discomfort, nor did he indicate any alarm,â€ť her statement noted.
Yet she did notice a disturbing detail after her husband collapsed forward out of the view of the computerâ€™s video camera: â€śThe closet behind him had a bullet hole in it.â€ťÂ
Oreliana-Clark promptly called family members and tried to reach military officials as the Skype chat feed continued and her husband did not respond to her voice.Â
â€śThe Skype link continued for approximately two hours as CPT Clarkâ€™s family and friends stateside and in theater worked feverishly to send help.â€ť
After two hours, military officials and Mrs. Clark say, two military personnel arrived in Clarkâ€™s room in Afghanistan â€śand appeared to check his pulse,â€ť according to the Clark family statement.
His wife, who had been working â€śfeverishlyâ€ť to reach military officials, was â€śprovided no details about his conditionâ€ť by the troops who arrived on the scene.
The US Army Criminal Investigation Command released its own statement Monday morning expressing condolences to the family, which has gone public with their plight, but offering few details in Clarkâ€™s death.
â€śWe know this is a very traumatic and difficult time for all involved,â€ť the statement read.
Military spokesman were adamant, however, that Clarkâ€™s death was not caused by a bullet. â€śAlthough the investigation into his death is open and ongoing by Special Agents from the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, we can positively say that Captain Clark was not shot,â€ť wrote Chris Grey, spokesperson for the US Army Criminal Investigation Command.
Whatâ€™s more, US military agents involved in the investigation have â€śfound no trauma to the body beyond minor abrasions and a possible broken nose most likely caused from Captain Clark striking his face on his desk when he collapsed,â€ť according to Grey.
Clark, a chief nurse serving at a small base southwest of Kabul in Tarin Kot, joined the military in 2006. He deployed to Afghanistan in March from the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.
At present, Grey says that US military officials â€śdo not suspect foul playâ€ť at this point in the investigation, â€śalthough we have not completely ruled it out.â€ť