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N.W. Ohio family still awaiting word on son

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The family of a Toledo man reported missing after a military helicopter crash in Afghanistan was still waiting yesterday for official word on his status, despite a U.S. military news release that listed him among the dead.

The release, from Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, said Sy Jason Lucio, 27, was one of three civilian contractors killed in the April 6 crash about 100 miles southwest of Kabul, the capital.

The news release said Halliburton Co., which employs Mr. Lucio, identified him and two colleagues as victims of the crash, which also killed 15 U.S. soldiers.

But Mr. Lucio's mother, Sally Nelson, and stepfather, Terry Neff, said yesterday they had received no further word on their son's fate from Halliburton, which listed him as missing Tuesday.

"They keep telling us the DNA's not done, so I don't know what's going on," Mr. Neff said yesterday afternoon from the family's home in Clyde, Ohio. "I don't know if they're really doing an adequate job of keeping us informed. They're a little bit behind, from what you read in the papers and see on the news."

He said family members were upset to read a local newspaper report yesterday that identified Mr. Lucio as one of those killed.

"We thought we'd hear first, before they go spreading it out to the world," Mr. Neff said.

He said his wife spoke earlier in the day with a Halliburton official who was with the bodies at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and that person told her he could not confirm whether Mr. Lucio was one of the dead.

Beverly Scippa, a Halliburton spokesman at the defense contractor's headquarters in Houston, said she had no additional information about Mr. Lucio's fate and the company still considered him missing.

Mr. Lucio had been working in Afghanistan since January as an electrician for the Halliburton subsidiary KBR, assisting U.S. military forces who are fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.

The Clyde native, who has a 2 1/2-year-old son, went to Penta Career Center and graduated from Swanton High School before becoming a certified electrician with Local 8 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Contact Steve Murphy at:

smurphy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6078.

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