NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Three U.S. Navy Sailors who served on the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, which is currently undergoing an overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, were found dead in less than a week’s span, the Navy says.
At this time, 10 On Your Side has learned two of the Sailors took their own life. The chief medical examiner confirmed on Wednesday that both Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Natasha Huffman and Retail Services Specialist 3rd Class Mika’il Sharp died of suicide. The cause of death of the unidentified third Sailor has not been released yet.
The Navy says the deaths are not believed to be connected and are under investigation separately. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and local authorities are investigating.
10 On Your Side reached out to Hampton police, who are assisting in the investigation. When asked what details they could provide, Sgt. R.C. Williams said:
“It is our standard practice to withhold details on death investigations involving a suicide.”
Sharp and Huffman were found on April 9 and 10, respectively, at off-base locations in Hampton, Myers said.
Sharp enlisted in June 2020. Huffman enlisted in July 2018, and is originally from Minnesota, according to Navy records.
The third sailor, who hasn’t been identified, was found unresponsive on Friday, April 15, on the carrier.
“The Sailor was treated by the medical team on board before being transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News where the service member passed away,” Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Michael Maus said in an email to the Navy Times. “The incident is under investigation and the command continues to cooperate with (the Naval Criminal Investigative Service).”
The name is the unidentified sailor will be released when next of kin notification is complete, Myers said.
For information on programs, events, presentations and support groups the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers, click here.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK.
WAVY is working to learn more about the sailors and their deaths. Check back for updates.