Family Speaks To News 9 After Iraq Releases Colbert Marine's Body


Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 10:48 pm
By: News 9


The body of an Oklahoma Marine who was found dead in Baghdad earlier this month is on his way back to the U.S.

6/26/2012 Related Story: Iraq Releases Body Of Oklahoman After Dispute

Tuesday night, the family is one step closer to finding out what happened to their former Marine, Michael Copeland, but a long way from getting closure.

"We are very pleased to know that the long struggle as far as that goes is over, he's not home yet of course he's got a long ways to go and we still don't know what the cause of his death was," Copeland's father, Mike Copeland said.

A relieved, but understandably upset father talked to us over the phone about his son, Michael Copeland.

After serving our country in the Marines, Michael Copeland was working as an aircraft mechanic, a contract worker, in Iraq, when he died suddenly.

"He was 37 years old healthy there was no reason for him to die. That's why we want the autopsy done here and not in Iraq," Copeland's cousin, Brent Barry said.

Copeland's cousin, Brent Barry says he and the Copeland family have a lot of unanswered questions about why Iraqi officials did not want to send the body back home.

"There's still a lot of questions we need to find out before we can feel at ease with this whole thing," he said.

Barry says Michael's body was flown out of Baghdad Tuesday morning and in Kuwait right now, and for that the family is thankful.

6/19/2012 Related Story: Family Struggles To Bring Colbert Marine's Body Home

We're very relieved it's the first step in the process to find out what happened. How my cousin died" Barry said.

The family wants to thank the state officials and everyone who worked with them to get Michael's body back to the U.S. for an autopsy.

Until then, they are grieving their hero and family member with services in Oklahoma.