January 4, 2008, - 4:07 pm

Mystery: Two American Navy Men Found Dead on New Year’s Eve in Africa

By Debbie Schlussel
What happened to three U.S. Navy men on New Year’s Eve in their Ghana hotel?
Patrick Mack and Lonnie Davis were found dead in their hotel room, and a third Navy man was found injured and taken to a hospital. The cause of death remains unknown:

The bodies of two U.S. Navy sailors who were found dead in a hotel room in the West African nation of Ghana on New Year’s Eve have been flown to Germany for a post-mortem examination, a top Ghanaian police official said Friday.
Frank Adu-Poku, the director-general of Ghana’s Criminal Investigation Department, also said a third sailor who had been with the two has been hospitalized since their bodies were discovered. Adu-Poku would not comment further on the third sailor’s hospitalization, which had not previously been reported.
Adu-Poku said the investigation included a review of closed circuit television footage from the hotel and following leads provided by the third sailor.
“We are working on so many clues and hope to find the cause of their death,” he said. “Two able-bodied men cannot enter a hotel and be found dead the next day.”
The U.S. Navy had no comment on the investigation or on the third sailor’s hospitalization.
The three were assigned to the USS Fort McHenry, which is on a seven-month voyage through the Gulf of Guinea, and had left the ship for a night in Accra, Ghana’s capital.
A U.S. Navy statement earlier this week identified the dead sailors as Patrick Mack, 22, of Warren, Mich., and Lonnie Davis Jr., 35, of Riverdale, Ga. The third sailor has not been publicly identified.
Mack and Davis died of “unknown causes while on liberty,” the Navy statement said. “The exact causes of the deaths for both sailors is currently under investigation.”

More on this tragic story:

Puzzled relatives of a fourth-generation U.S. Navy sailor who hailed from Warren are mourning his death after his body and that of another sailor were found in a hotel room on New Year’s Day in the West African nation of Ghana.
Engineman 1st Class Patrick Brendan Mack, 22, a 2002 graduate of Center Line High School, died of “unknown causes while on liberty,” the Navy said in a statement. Navy officials identified the other sailor as Engineman Fireman Lonnie Lee Davis Jr., 35, of Georgia, who also was on shore leave.
“The exact cause of the deaths for both sailors is currently under investigation,” the Navy said.
The bodies were found at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, a luxury hotel in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, approximately 18 miles from the Tema Naval Base.
“He always kept on the ball,” Mack’s uncle, Patrick Sean Mack, 51, of Fraser, said Thursday. “When he set his mind to do something, he did it.”
That included deciding in his junior year at Center Line High School on joining the Navy. He felt great pride in following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. About a year-and-half ago, he re-enlisted for another four years.
“He’s about 8 feet tall when he had that uniform,” his uncle said.
Mack and his wife, Stefanie, married in July in Maryland. A reception was held in August at The Gazebo banquet hall in August.
He was an honor student at Center Line High School, where he was a member of the wrestling squad and active in the school’s Junior ROTC program, said Superintendent of Schools Judy Pritchett. Pritchett quoted JROTC instructor 1st Sgt. William Stirrett in describing Mack as a “very nice, quiet, polite, conscientious young man” who did very well in the program.
“In fact, Patrick had been back a couple times since enlisting in the Navy and spoke to the ROTC classes,” Pritchett said.
Mack’s father, Daniel Mack of Warren, spent 18 years in the Navy. The elder Mack met his first wife, Linda, while both served in the Navy in Guam. Patrick was born in Guam.

Please pray for their families.

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5 Responses

I think the story has the ranks of the men backwards. Very difficult to find a 35 year old fireman and a 22 year old first class petty officer. It is difficult but not impossible. One normally needs about 6 years to advance to PO1 at the earliest.

Caratacus on January 5, 2008 at 12:46 pm

I am a relative and they do have the ranks correct. Patrick was an exceptional young man who advanced to first class petty officer very quickly. Yes it is highly unusual which makes this even more of a tragedy. Patrick was a very smart young man.
There was closed circuit video cams in the hall way and we have heard there was a video cam set up in the room. The Navy definately knows something.

Banko on January 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm

When I saw the headline- ‘two American navy men found dead on New Year’s day in Africa’ I felt I ought to correct the author of the article that Africa was a continent and that the tragic event took place in the capital of one of the dozens of countries on the continent. It is like saying – ‘Senegales man murdered by cops in America’ when the event took place in New York – worse even. There is a tendecy among many foreign columnists/reporters to treat Africa as if it were one big village. I find this worrying.

marilynne on January 7, 2008 at 1:23 am

Naturally, one suspects Death By Muslims.

Pat on January 7, 2008 at 2:39 am

Banko, I am a reporter with the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes in Stuttgart, Germany. We would like to write a follow-up on PO1 Mack. Could you please email me at coonc@estripes.osd.mil Our website is http://www.stripes.com and you can find my contact info there as well. Thank you. Charlie Coon

coonchuck on January 9, 2008 at 3:34 am

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