U.S. soldier killed in Niger was found bound, shoeless, and apparently executed

Myeshia Johnson kisses the casket of her husband Army Sgt. La David Johnson during his burial service for at the Memorial Gardens East cemetery on October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Florida.
(Image credit: Gaston De Cardenas/Getty Images)

Two villagers in Niger who live near the site where four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush earlier this fall report that the body of Army Sgt. La David Johnson was discovered bound and with a head wound, suggesting he was captured and executed by militants, The Washington Post reported Friday evening.

Johnson was separated from the rest of the troops who were attacked, and his body was missing for several days. It was eventually discovered by children who fetched the adults from their village who spoke with the Post. "The back of his head was a mess, as if they had hit him with something hard, like a hammer," said Mounkaila Alassane, the village chief, who saw the body. "They took his shoes. He was wearing only socks."

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.