The Air Force on Sunday identified the two airmen who were found dead in a dorm room at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as Airman 1st Class Xavier Leaphart and Airman 1st Class Aziess Whitehurst.

But the cause of their deaths is still under investigation, U.S. Air Forces in Europe spokeswoman Capt. Selena Rodts said in an email Monday.

Leaphart and Whitehurst, who were both 20 years old, were found unresponsive at about 6:30 p.m. last Thursday, and were pronounced dead shortly afterwards. The Air Force waited to release their names until after their next of kin had been notified.

Whitehurst is survived by his father and mother, Davin and Maria Whitehurst, the release said. Leaphart is survived by his father, Malik Muhammad, and mother, Pamela Leaphart.

“It is always very difficult to lose valued members of our team,” Col. David Epperson, commander of the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem, said in the release. “Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and families that have been affected by this tragedy.”

The Air Force Personnel Center said both airmen were weapons load crew members with the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, in the 2W1 aircraft armament systems career field. Leaphart joined the Air Force in November 2018, and Whitehurst joined in December 2018.

The Air Force is still investigating their deaths, and said it will release further details as they become available.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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