Death of Nigeria-based Marine embassy guard under investigation

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the recent death of a Marine who had been working as embassy security in the Nigerian capital.

Cpl. Elwin Ramirez was stationed at the US embassy in Abuja, according to a Facebook post Monday by the Marine Security Guard page.

“We extend our most heartfelt condolences to Cpl. Ramirez’s family and friends, and we ask that you please respect their privacy during this difficult time,” the post read.

“I can confirm that NCIS is conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Cpl. Elwin Ramirez, as we do in response to any non-combat, medically unattended deaths of Department of the Navy service members,” Jeff Houston, an NCIS spokesperson, told Marine Corps Times. “Out of respect for the investigative process, NCIS will not comment further while the investigation continues.”

The Marine Corps did not respond by publication to an inquiry about when Ramirez died. A Marine carry team transferred his remains to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on Thursday, according to Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations.

Ramirez was an infantry marine from Lodi, California, who “excelled at MSG School,” the Marine Security Guard Facebook post stated. His one post prior to Abuja was at Detachment Valletta, Malta. His unit is cooperating fully with the NCIS investigation, according to the MSG post.

Marines have provided security at US embassies and consulates since 1948.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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