Navy Identifies Sailor Who Went Missing Off North Carolina Coast

  • Taylor KayJean Machado (Instragram photo)
    Taylor KayJean Machado (Instragram photo)
  • Taylor KayJean Machado (Instragram photo)
    Taylor KayJean Machado (Instragram photo)

The Navy has identified the sailor who went missing from the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall April 9 off the coast of North Carolina. Taylor KayJean Machado, a gunner's mate 3rd class, went missing from the ship during training operations in support of a pre-deployment exercise some 60 nautical miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras. Her social media accounts show she graduated Paso Robles High School in California in 2013 and enlisted in the Navy the same year. The service suspended a 72-hour search-and-rescue operation involving eight ships and Navy and Coast Guard aircraft on Tuesday – three days after Machado was lost. Officials have said an investigation is ongoing into her disappearance. In Instagram photos posted seven weeks ago, Machado shows herself and other sailors aboard ship, using hashtags like #thebestgrind, #thisismylife, and #bejealous. In a short video posted to the account, she shows herself firing a 50-caliber machine gun into the ocean, saying it was her first time to fire the weapon. "I swear, I eventually get more comfortable and more excited, after a few malfunctions cleared, I destroyed!" she wrote. "Lol this was such a blast, definitely a good day." --Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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