Georgia soldier mysteriously dies while in Europe

- A north Georgia soldier mysteriously died while in Europe with family members.

Major Kyle Tafel had been in the Georgia Army National Guard for 17 years. His father said he does not know how he died, and said he may never know what really happened.

The 36-year-old Smyrna man was visiting Belarus with two of his aunts last month. One of them was there for a weightlifting competition.

“He was there to support her and in a way, I think to try to protect them, he knew it was a rough neighborhood,” said Kevin Tafel, Kyle's father.

Kevin Tafel said on one of their last night's there, his son went to the hotel's casino, there was some type of argument, and security brought Kyle back to the suite he shared with his aunts.

“He told his aunts 'they were out for blood.' Out of fear, they barricaded the door so nobody could get in or out,” said Tafel.

Tafel said about three hours later, the police showed up at the hotel suite and told the aunts Kyle's body was found on the sidewalk outside the hotel, he was dead.

“Kyle's body had been tossed off the roof or the balcony,” said Kevin Tafel.

Tafel said he has not contacted the authorities in Belarus, nor has he been contacted by anyone from Belarus.

“I have not asked any questions, I have not received any answers. All the answers in the world is not going to bring Kyle back,” said Kevin Tafel.

Maj. Kyle Tafel's body was brought back to the United States Wednesday. His funeral will be held Friday at the Georgia National Cemetery.

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