Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

More remains of Miami Gardens’ Sgt. La David Johnson found in Niger

Sgt. La David Johnson
Sgt. La David Johnson

The Department of Defense said “additional remains” of Miami Gardens husband and father Sgt. La David Johnson were found in Niger, where Johnson and three other sergeants were killed in an Oct. 4 ambush.

A statement from DOD Chief Spokesperson Dana White read, “On Nov. 12, 2017, a joint U.S Africa Command military investigation team discovered additional human remains at the site where Sgt. La David T. Johnson's body was recovered following the Oct. 4 attack. Today, we can confirm that the Armed Forces Medical Examiner has positively identified these remains as those of Sgt. Johnson.

“The department continues to conduct a detailed and thorough investigation into the deaths of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, and Sgt. La David T. Johnson. We extend our deepest condolences to all of the families of the fallen.”

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, a longtime friend of Johnson’s family, wondered Tuesday why the White House doesn’t issue a full report on the attack instead of the information dripping out to the media: “He left a gold star family. And to learn about his final moments on TV and in the newspaper is a shame for this nation.”

Wilson also said, “It is painful to his family. How much can a gold star family take when you say to them you cannot have an open casket funeral, but we don’t know what happened to your husband. We don’t know what happened to your son. We don’t know what happened to your brother. We don’t know what happened to your friend.”

Johnson’s funeral was Oct. 21. Two days later, during an interview for ABC News' "Good Morning America," Johnson’s widow and mother of his two children, Myeshia Johnson, wondered why she wasn’t allowed to see her husband’s body before the casket was put in the ground.

“Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me,” she said. “They told me that he’s in a severe wrap, that I wouldn’t be able to see him. I need to see him so I will know that it’s my husband. I don’t know nothing. They won’t show me a finger, a head. I know my husband’s body from head to toe. And they won’t let me see anything. I don’t know what’s in that box. It could be empty for all I know. But I need to see my husband. I haven’t seen him since he came home.”

In the weeks between Johnson’s death and his funeral, what President Donald Trump said during a condolence call to Myeshia Johnson sparked yet another feud between Trump and a member of Congress. Wilson said Trump told Myeshia Johnson that her husband "knew what he signed up for" during the call she heard on speakerphone. Johnson seconded Wilson’s account during the “Good Morning America” interview.

Trump claimed Wilson "totally fabricated" that account as the first salvo on a back-and-forth that saw Trump call Wilson “wacky.” Wilson claimed threats from Trump supporters kept her from voting in Washington in late October.

President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson from Miami Gardens feuded over a call he made to a fallen soldier's widow. Sgt. La David T. Johnson was killed in an ambush during a joint-military mission in Niger on Oct. 4, 2017.

Herald Staff Writer Jacqueline Charles contributed to this report.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal