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Missing Md. guard airman found dead

A member of the Maryland Air National Guard who had been missing since Monday has been found dead near the Gunpowder River, officials said.

The body of Tech. Sgt. John B. Jones, who had been deployed twice to Afghanistan, was found Wednesday afternoon by Aberdeen Proving Ground Police, Maryland National Guard Lt. Col. Charles Kohler said. The Baltimore man was 47.

Authorities had been looking for Jones since Monday, when his boat was found anchored and abandoned in the Chesapeake Bay, two miles south of Pooles Island off Middle River.

The cause of death is under investigation.

Jones worked full time as a mechanic, maintaining C-130 transport aircraft for the 135th Maintenance Squadron of the 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River. He had served 26 years in the military, including deployments to Afghanistan in 2006 and 2010.

He is survived by a wife and a son.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Jones family during this most difficult time," said Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the commander of the Maryland National Guard. "The loss of one of our own is always very difficult, and very little can be said to ease the pain, but we must remember Technical Sergeant Jones's dedication to our nation and state and honor his service."

Jones joined the Air Force in 1988 and transferred to the Maryland Air National Guard in 1992, Kohler said. He was in the process of transitioning from a mechanic to the Air National Guard's proposed cyber operations group.

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

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