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US Service Member A Suspect In Navy Broadcaster's Death

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov

There's been an update in the case of a U.S. Navy broadcaster's mysterious death in Germany. This week, a German judge charged an unnamed member of the U.S. military with manslaughter in the death of Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov.

Chepusov, 31, worked for American Forces Network-Europe. He was found dead Dec. 14 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. According to a news release from U.S. European Command, German police found Chepusov unresponsive in a privately-owned vehicle...

... and [he was] subsequently pronounced dead by German medical authorities called to the scene by German law enforcement officials.

Stars and Stripes later reported that Chepusov wasn't alone in the car:

A joint statement... from German police and the Kaiserslautern prosecutor’s office said police stopped a car for driving erratically early Saturday morning and discovered a dead man in the passenger’s seat. Both the driver and his deceased passenger were Americans belonging to the U.S. military, the statement said.

An autopsy performed on Chepusov by German authorities found Chepusov died from “force to the throat.”

U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations spokeswoman Linda Card told Stars and Stripes in an email despite the German judge's actions, the U.S. military has not charged the American suspect with any crime, and will not until the U.S. can perform its own autopsy on Chepsusov:

"Until then, there is no official autopsy report to confirm the matter of death,” [Card] wrote.

According to Card, the German prosecutor’s office is reluctant to fully release the case, though OSI believes that German authorities will release evidence to the U.S. on Thursday.

“At that time, [the Air Force] will assume the lead in this investigation with assistance from the Germans and NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service).”
Chepusov's friends have been posting condolences on his Facebook page, describing him as intelligent, professional, and genuine.