Just one month before Minnesota Navy medic David A. Cedergren, 25, was scheduled to come home from his tour in Iraq in 2004, he was found unconscious in an outdoor shower. He was pronounced dead shortly after and his family was told he died of natural causes.
His family now knows the truth: He was electrocuted while showering. He was the third U.S. service member to die from electrocution in Iraq, according to the Star Tribune
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The deaths are now part of a wider criminal investigation, part of a probe that's looking into a total of 18 electrocutions that have occurred in Iraq, in a variety of circumstances.
"Obviously it brings some closure to what we all originally thought had happened to David," said Cedergren's brother, Barry. "But the hard thing is you start to heal knowing one thing, and then the wounds reopen and you have to look at things in a different way."
The Associated Press reported Monday that late last year, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology changed the cause of Cedergren's death to "accidental," caused by electrocution and inflammation of the heart.
Barry Cedergren of Ramsey said family members initially suspected that David had been electrocuted because, according to reports shown to the family, witnesses told investigators that some service members had reported suffering electrical shocks in the shower. "It showed that these guys were getting zapped, so it made us wonder," he said.