A U.S. Navy officer of Filipino descent leaped to his death at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila on Monday, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Manila aviation police chief Pedro Desuasido revealed that Lt. Cmdr. Scintar Buenviaje Mejia, 35, died of injuries to the head after jumping to his death from a second-floor staircase, as he was being escorted by a security guard to the bathroom. All Headline News reported that Mejia was brought to the San Jose de Dios Hospital in Pasay City, where he was declared dead at 6:45 in the morning. He was supposed to fly to Los Angeles Sunday.
Mejia had been arrested after an X-ray machine check at the airport revealed a plastic packet in his bag, which was suspected to contain cocaine. According to Desuasido, Mejia had denied that the packet was his, and said that he was set up. Tests revealed later that the packet did not contain any illegal drugs.
Lt. Cmdr. Mejia’s career began in February, 1997, when he joined the Air Force. He finished four years of service before attending Officer Candidate School, receiving his naval commission in 2001. He went on to complete naval aviation technical training in January 2002, and then proceeded to attend Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Georgia. His first ship was the amphibious assault ship Tarawa in San Diego.
Mejia was the recipient of several military awards and decorations, including three Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals and a Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, among others.