Airman 1st Class Camden Mello at RAF Lakenheath, England, December 18, 2020 (Anthony Cllingerman / US Air Force)
RAF Lakenheath, England – An airman based at RAF Lakenheath was found dead in a suspected suicide on Friday, said Lt. Col. Jason Camilletti, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing.
Airman 1st Class Camden Mello went missing Thursday morning. He was found after his unit launched a search “at all levels,” Camilletti said in a video on Facebook “There was no shortage of manpower” to help find Mello, according to the video statement.
Mello was a crew chief assigned to the 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the Air Force said in a December 2020 statement about his difficulties adjusting to his first overseas duty station.
He arrived at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and was separated from his wife, Lauren, for the first time since they were in college, he said at the time. On top of that, his mother died a week after arriving in England, he said. She was killed in a hit-and-run accident while on vacation in New Orleans, media reported.
Lauren Mello’s wife joined him in England eight months after his arrival, he said in late 2020, describing how he had relied on friends and the services of the mental health facility of the base to cope.
“Having him here with me again is the best Christmas present of all,” he said in the Air Force statement last year.
Now his wife is grappling with his absence.
“I have no idea how I’m going to go through life knowing that the plans we made together are gone,” Lauren Mello wrote on Facebook Friday. “But I promise I’ll be strong for you.” I promise I will carry on for you.
Her husband had driven her to work the morning before her death, removed her hand from her knees and raised it to his lips to give her “the sweetest kiss”, before stopping to kiss her. and tell her he loved her. She said the same and wished him a good day’s work.
âIf I had the slightest desire that this would be the last time I saw those big puppy eyes staring at mine, I would have got back in that car and told you to keep driving,â she said.
Camilletti, in his Facebook statement on Friday, expressed his condolences to Mello’s family, who live in Massachusetts. The commander also addressed the airmen at Lakenheath, asking them to “keep fighting” and telling them that they are loved and important to those around them.
Facebook commentators offered their condolences to Mello’s relatives and their support for Camilletti’s post.
âThis kind of loss is felt by so many people. Rest easy, âChloe Hodges said in the comments.
“This is the most genuine response from a commander I have ever seen,” said Carlos Ruiz.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by texting the crisis text line at 741741.