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Search for missing Yuma Marine ends tragically

By Gunnery Sgt. Bill Lisbon | | March 23, 2011


 A Yuma-based Marine reported missing on March 16 was discovered dead by a local farmer in a canal southwest of Yuma on March 21.

The Marine has been identified as Cpl. Joshua Barron, an AV-8B Harrier engine mechanic attached to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Barron during this tragic time," said Lt. Col. Gregory Clarke, MALS-13 commander. "The Marine Corps is deeply saddened to lose one of its own and is committed to helping Cpl. Barron’s family in every way possible."

At 9:42 a.m. on March 21, Yuma County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a deceased person in a canal near County 12 1/2 Street and Avenue D, said Capt. Eben Bratcher, YCSO spokesman.

Barron was tentatively identified based on tattoos, while a positive identification was made by next of kin later the same day.

No evidence of foul play was apparent at the scene, reported Bratcher. However, the cause of death remained under investigation as of the morning of March 23.

Barron, a 22-year-old native of Cumberland, Maine, was last seen by his roommate at approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 15 at their off-station residence in Yuma. Barron’s wife, Natasha, who lives in Standish, Maine, told various media that she spoke with him via cell phone at approximately 5 a.m. on March 16. She called him back around noon after seeing a missed call from him, but a woman who found the cell phone near a canal answered and asked how to return it.

According to information posted on a website built and managed by Barron’s father, Dean, a funeral is scheduled for next week in Maine.

The squadron plans to hold a memorial service for Barron on Thursday in the station chapel for unit personnel, family and friends.

Barron joined the Marine Corps in July 2008. His decorations include the Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.


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