A military member assigned to the 1st Special Operations Wing missing since Sunday was found deceased at about 11 a.m. Nov. 20 on the Eglin Range.
Maj. Melissa Ann Birtzer, 42, of Fort Walton Beach, was a health care integrator assigned to the 1st Special Operations Medical Group. After being reported missing on Nov. 18, she was found dead on the Eglin Range.
"Hurlburt Field is deeply saddened by the death of one of our own," said Col. William Holt, vice commander of 1st SOW in a press release. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Major Birtzer's family and friends at this difficult time."
According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Birtzer was last seen at her home on Northampton Circle the afternoon of Nov. 17. She did not take her wallet, credit cards, or cash. No family members have had contact with Birtzer since that time. Investigators believe Birtzer left the home in a 2003 dark blue Toyota 4-Runner.
Michele Nicholson, Okaloosa County Sheriff public information officer, said the case is still officially open pending autopsy results, but there was no indication of foul play.
“Initial indications are it was self-inflicted,” Nicholson said in an email.
Hurlburt Field will continue to work with local law enforcement agencies to identify the cause of death.
More information may be released as it becomes available.