Family still wants apology from Air Force over handling of Marine's remains

By Anna Tataris, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012

The family of a local Marine is upset with the Air Force for not taking more action against those responsible for dismembering their son's body for his funeral.

Sgt. Daniel Angus was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 but it was almost two years later when his family found out his body parts had been rearranged in the wooden box. 

The family's attorney Mark O'Brien says Angus' arm was chopped off and placed in his pant leg. The family says it was not necessary because he was going to be cremated. The Air Force told them it was done so he could be placed in his uniform.

However, the family wasn't notified until whistle blowers reported soldiers’ bodies were being mishandled.

An investigation took place but the family says the people responsible are not facing criminal charges and the family says they never got an apology. Family members broke their silence at a news conference Thursday.

"We were told by the Air Force that an investigation would be completed, and that justice would be served. We waited patiently hoping that through this due process we would get that justice. However, with the news last week that the people involved basically got a slap on the wrist and the whole thing would essentially be treated like nothing was done wrong. We do not feel like justice was served," said Daniel’s mother, Kathy Angus.

"More than anything, we deserve an apology that doesn't start with I'm sorry but...and everyone involved needs to have real consequences for what they did. Daniel gave his life fighting for our freedoms and we are going to fight for justice for him."

O'Brien says if they pursue some type of lawsuit it won't be about money but making a wrong right. They want to make sure more is done to make sure this doesn't happen again.

“If you talk to any Gold Star family they can tell you down to the minute every detail of the day they received the dreaded knock on the door informing that their son had made the ultimate sacrifice," said Kathy Angus.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to endure that twice. Twenty-two months after our son Sgt. Daniel Angus was killed in action we had a second knock with more disturbing news. Not only was his body mutilated and the whole incident kept from us, the Air Force was not apologizing but informing us the news would become public. We would now have to start the grieving process all over again, starting at square one."

Bay News 9 contacted the U.S. Air Force Public Affair's Office. They told us they will review the family's statement and respond. We're still waiting on that response.