Ohio Soldier's Remains Found in Iraq

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Many of you first saw Staff Sergeant Keith Matthew Maupin -- or Matt as he is known -- in a video showing armed insurgents at the sides of the Army Reserve soldier.

Thousands of miles away in Ohio, his mother, Carolyn, received unthinkable news.

"They read this paper. I remember that sentence forever, whenever it says, 'we regret to inform you,' but you just never know what they're going to say afterwards. But Matt's was 'whereabouts unknown,'" Carolyn Maupin said.

It was April 9, 2004.

Militants attacked Maupin's convoy outside Baghdad with machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

They killed two soldiers and six civilian contractors.

Matt was nowhere to be found -- abducted by the enemy.

He Didn't Come Back

"When he went to Iraq, I thought well I'll just grow a beard and cut it off when he comes back. Well, he didn't come back," Keith Maupin said.

Nearly three months after the ambush of Matt's convoy, a second video surfaced.

This one shows the execution of a blindfolded person seen from the back, dressed in camouflage.

A statement accompanying the video claimed the victim was Maupin.

The Army ruled the video inconclusive.

Now, nearly four years later, more unthinkable news.

On a gray Sunday afternoon, a three-star Army General told Keith and Carolyn Maupin that their son was coming home, but not the way they had hoped.

"It hurts, it hurts after you go through almost four years of hope and this is what happens -- it's like a let down to me. So I'm trying to get through it right now," Carolyn said.

They have yet to learn where exactly his remains were found.

An Unwavering Community of Support

"We don't know where. They just said somewhere in Iraq. They had called us, and they told us that they found some remains, and they found a shirt that was similar to what they had. when he was first captured," Keith said.

A community that has unwavered in their support for the Maupins continues to reach out.

When Matt was reported missing, people in Batavia, Ohio launched the campaign, "lighting the way home."

This candlelight vigil shows they're still behind this family in need.

"Now, we've lit his way home. He's our native son. We're proud of him. The selfless sacrifice. Those are two words that absolutely describe Matt," a community member said.

On the warrior ethos wall in the Pentagon, there's a large photo of Matt.

The Army says Staff Sergeant Maupin embodies the warrior ethos which says, "I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit."

"Matt is coming home. His mission has been completed. After years of prayer and hope, we learned today that Matt died in captivity," Keith said.

"At first, lighting the way home was for me, lighting the way home for Matt so I could hug him again, but I guess in another way it has lit his way home, hasn't it?" Carolyn said. "And he even said in one of the letters, I want to come back to America, so he gets to."

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

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