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Canham family continues to investigate Dustin's death

Several months ago we learned about the passing of Mitch Canham's brother, Dustin Canham, in a "non-hostile" accident in Djibouti. There weren't very many details to share at that time besides the fact that the death was "non-hostile", but now the Associated Press is shedding new light on the story:

On the afternoon of March 23, two superiors took a 21-year-old Marine, Lance Cpl. Dustin Canham, into a tent at Camp Lemonier, a U.S. base in the rocky desert of the Horn of Africa.

Exactly what happened inside remains unclear, except this: Canham died.

The family has been raising questions to the Marines as well as some of Dustin's friends. The responses they have received all are different.

Shortly before 4 p.m., Diaz and Abril [two superiors] brought Canham into a tent. Dustin soon collapsed; other Marines saw Diaz run out of the tent to get help, Devyn said. Resuscitation efforts failed. He was pronounced dead at the camp's medical clinic at 5:12 p.m.

One letter to the family, written by Lt. Col. J.R. Hill of the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, said, "Dustin was in his air-conditioned quarters while exercising when he unexpectedly collapsed," and added that "the Marines who found him" immediately called for help.

Another, written by Lt. Col. Thomas E. Foos, commanding officer of 8th Provisional Security Company, and Capt. Craig E. Harris, commander of Alpha Company at Lemonier, said, "Dustin was exercising with his fire team leader in his tent doing what we call the Daily Seven" — an exercise routine that includes push-ups and core-body work — and that he collapsed after just two or three minutes.

None of the letters explained why Canham was in the tent with two superiors. Devyn Canham said three Marines told her it was not Dustin's own tent, but another that might not have been air-conditioned. The high temperature that afternoon neared the mid-90s.

Read the full story here .

Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Canham family. May you find the answers you are looking for.

--JB--