Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, July 16

MCSO detention officer's son missing in Iraqi

The war in Iraq has touched someone in Kingman.

The son of Carol Howland, a detention officer with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, is believed missing after Iraq troops ambushed his Army convoy this past weekend.

Lance Cpl.

James Kiehl and eight other members of his Army maintenance company are captured or missing after Iraqi forces ambushed their convoy near Nasiriyah.

Military officials notified his wife, Jill, and Howland on Sunday night, Kiehl's father, Randy Kiehl, said.

Pentagon officials would not confirm or deny James Kiehl's status.

The Associated Press lists him and four others with the 507th Maintenance Company as missing and five members of the unit captured.

Randy Kiehl, of Comfort, Texas, said his son grew up in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and moved to Texas, where he graduated from Comfort High School in 2000.

Comfort, a population of about 1,500, is about an hour's drive northwest of San Antonio.

Jill Kiehl is expecting the couple's first child in April.

After her husband's deployment, she moved to Des Moines, Iowa, to be with her parents, Randy Kiehl said.

James Kiehl, 22, has been in the Army for two and a half years as a computer repair technician, his father said of his only child.

Kiehl and his company were deployed March 1 to the Middle East from Fort Bliss near El Paso, Texas.

The 507th was deployed with the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade last month.

Fort Bliss is the base for the Army's training of air defense artillery units.

"He (and his unit) was following a Patriot missile battery near Nasiriyah," Kiehl said.

Randy Kiehl, who was in the Army himself during the 1970s, said he and his wife, Jane, have raised James, since he was 11.

The hardest part of their ordeal is not knowing where his son is.

"The primary thing is my son and his well being," Kiehl said.

"We're bearing up pretty well.

We're dealing with it by talking to people, trying to get information."

Howland has been with sheriff's office for about four years, starting as a detention assistant in 1999 before becoming a detention officer the next year, Sheriff Tom Sheahan said.

Howland was scheduled to speak with local media Tuesday morning but, Sheahan said, was told by military officials at the last minute not to talk to the media.

Attempts to contact her have been unsuccessful.

Sheahan said sheriff's office employees are wearing yellow ribbons to show support for Howland.

"We'll offer as much support as we can," Sheahan said.

"Anything we can do to help her."

Jail employees wanting yellow ribbons can contact Billie Ragan, and personnel assigned to the jail annex can contact Sandy Edwards at the sheriff's office.


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