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Oakboro service member dies in Texas

The U.S. Air Force is investigating the death of an Oakboro service member who was found dead in Texas, where he was serving on temporary duty.

Tech Sgt. Phillip Coley, a member of the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron, has been at Eielson Air Force Base since February, according to a press release from Eielson Air Force Base. He enlisted in March 2006.

Coley was discovered to be deceased on Sept. 19 while he was at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

“Our team is heartbroken by the passing of one of our Airmen,” Col. Benjamin Bishop, 354th FW
commander, said in the release. “This loss weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of every member of our Eielson family. My deepest condolences go out to Phillip’s friends and family, and anyone who has been affected by this tragedy.”

According to the release, Coley has a wife and two children.

Eielson announced the death of a serviceman on Sept. 19 but did not disclose his name until Sept. 20, after Coley’s family was told.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is looking into Coley’s death.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.