Military May Declare Missing Soldier Dead

Where is Matt Maupin? He is the only American soldier unaccounted for in Iraq, and that is a question his parents have been asking every day for a year.

A grainy videotape shown by Al-Jazeera television claims to show Maupin's execution. The military has called the evidence inconclusive. But now, one year after his disappearance, it seems poised to change his status from missing to dead.

Meanwhile, his family continues to hope.

"There's not a minute goes by that I do not think of him and pray for him," his mother, Carolyn Maupin, said on "Good Morning America" today. "So I'm hoping and praying that that's what is going to happen. We're going to pray him home."

Videotape Called Inconclusive

On April 9, 2004, Maupin, a 21-year-old Army reservist from Batavia, Ohio, was helping to guard a fuel convoy when it came under fierce attack by Iraqi troops. Two American soldiers and six contractors were killed in the battle. Maupin was captured.

His captors released a videotape to the Arab television network Al-Jazeera about a week later, showing Maupin dressed in military fatigues, sitting on a floor with guns pointed at him.

Nearly three months later, another videotape was released to Al-Jazeera -- this time showing an execution, and militants claimed it was Maupin being killed.

The video was grainy, and the Army said it was unable to positively identify the person in the tape as Maupin, although a senior military official told ABC News last summer that officials believed it was him.

'You Can't Tell Me He's Not Alive'

The Army's official position has been, and remains, that the search for Maupin continues.

"The Army is making every effort to find him," said Maj. Elizabeth Robbins, a U.S. Army spokeswoman. "The details, I'm not at liberty to disclose due to operational security concerns."

But just a few days ago, the Army convened a three-member panel to review Maupin's case. That panel will recommend whether his status should be changed from "captured" to "deceased/body not recovered."

Maupin's family has been touch with prisoner of war groups. His father, Keith, said that perhaps the new Iraqi government can help find his son.

Maupin's transportation company is home now and recently promoted the former private to sergeant. His colleagues, like his family, do not want to see his status changed.

Maupin's parents would not watch the videotape that purported to show their son's murder, and they said that until there is real proof he is dead, they will hope for him to come home.

"If they change Matt's status it would be a big mistake," said Keith Maupin. "You can't tell me he's not alive."

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