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Tests awaited on body of Gulf War pilot

Michael "Scott" Speicher
Michael "Scott" Speicher
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Navy awaited DNA test results Monday on the skeletal remains identified through dental records as those of pilot Michael "Scott" Speicher, who was called the first casualty of the 1991 Gulf War.

The results, due later this week, are not expected to completely solve the mystery of how Speicher died on the first night of the war 18 years ago. The remains are small and fragmentary and are not expected to yield a definite cause of death.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the remains will be turned over to Speicher's family after tests are complete.

For nearly two decades, Speicher's family, from outside Jacksonville, Fla., pressured the Defense Department to find an answer. Finally, the Pentagon announced Sunday that his remains had been found.

Cindy Laquidara, the family's attorney, said the family is dealing with grief and what she called a lack of information. She said family members want to talk to the Defense Department before commenting.

Laquidara said the family disputes the presumption that Speicher died while ejecting or in the crash.

"All the information we have received over the past 15 years is contrary to that. The fact that he ejected — the determination he ejected — there is a lot of information that conflicted with that."

The family has not announced plans for funeral or memorial services. Speicher already has a tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery.