Family Struggles To Bring Colbert Marine's Body Home
COLBERT, Oklahoma - The recent death of a former Marine who is from Colbert, Oklahoma, has his family angry with the U.S. government.
The state department says Michael Copeland died in Baghdad, Iraq June 9. Copeland was working as an independent contractor in aircraft maintenance.
The state department says Iraq will not release Copeland's body because Iraq claims Copeland died from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome—or SARS.
SARS is extremely rare, and Copeland's family says no one has died from SARS since 2003.
Copeland's father says he spoke to his son by phone just 12 hours before the government says he died, and Copeland was showing no signs of disease.
"Everyone I spoke with is always sorry for our loss, but they say there's nothing they can do. I find it very difficult to believe," Mike Copeland said.
Lawmakers on both the state and local level say they are working with the state department to bring Michael Copeland's body home.