Shock after American airman found dead

TRIBUTES have been paid to an experienced American serviceman from RAF Mildenhall after his body was found in a field - just miles from the USAF base.Military officials last night spoke of their devastation after Suffolk police confirmed the body was Master Sgt Bernard Huggins, 33, who had been missing for more than a week.

TRIBUTES have been paid to an experienced American serviceman from RAF Mildenhall after his body was found in a field - just miles from the USAF base.

Military officials last night spoke of their devastation after Suffolk police confirmed the body was Master Sgt Bernard Huggins, 33, who had been missing for more than a week.

A member of the public discovered the body in a field in Freckenham, just four miles from RAF Mildenhall.

The US serviceman had been reported missing to police when he failed to turn up for work on Monday .

Speaking last night, Col Michael Stough, 100th Air Refueling Wing commander, said: “We've been deeply concerned about his safety over the past week and we're devastated about today's news.

“Sgt Huggins was a valuable member of our team and his loss will be felt for a long time to come. Now our focus will turn to caring for those closest to him.”

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Sgt Huggins was assigned to the 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as a flight line expeditor. A 14-year Air Force veteran, Sgt Huggins had been stationed at RAF Mildenhall since August 2003.

Fears began growing for his safety last week after he vanished from his home in Eldo Road, West Row. Suffolk police revealed at the time that Sgt Huggins had been depressed prior to his disappearance.

They initially treated the death as unexplained but a police spokesman yesterday confirmed that a post mortem had been carried out at Addenbrookes Hospital and they were satisfied it was not suspicious.

Base chiefs confirmed an investigation into his death was currently underway and the matter had been passed on to the coroner.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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