Bodies Of Three Missing Halliburton Workers Identified; Abducted Mississippian Not Among Them

Three of four bodies found near an attack on a fuel convoy in Iraq earlier this month were contract workers for Halliburton Co., the company said Tuesday.

Stephen Hulett, 48, of Manistee, Mich.; Jack Montague, 52, of Pittsburg, Ill.; and Jeffery Parker, 45, of Lake Charles, La., "were brave hearts without medals, humanitarians without parades and heroes without statues,'' Houston-based Halliburton said in a statement confirming the identities of the workers.

Thomas Hamill of Macon, Miss., the Halliburton worker seen on video footage after the convoy attack, remained unaccounted-for.

The fourth body has not been identified, Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said.

Hulett, Montague, Parker and Hamill were among seven employees of Halliburton subsidiary KBR, formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root, missing since an April 9 attack on their convoy west of Baghdad.

The bodies of Hulett, Montague, Parker and the unidentified victim were found near the site of the attack.

Two military men, Pfc. Keith M. Maupin and Sgt. Elmer C. Krause, also were unaccounted-for, and Maupin, like Hamill, has been seen on video footage.

"We grieve today for the tragic and sudden loss of our co-workers,'' the company said. "There is no road map for something like this and we are doing everything we can to assist the families as well as our employees to cope with this huge tragedy.''

Hamill's wife, Kellie, who has repeatedly appealed for her husband's safe return, said Tuesday she would send letters to the families of the three workers "and let them know they are in our thoughts and prayers as well.''

She said she prayed efforts to secure the release of her husband, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson's attempts to contact religious leaders in Iraq, would soon prove successful.

Previously, the company had said about 30 Halliburton contractors had died while working in Iraq and Kuwait, performing jobs for the government that range from extinguishing oil fires to delivering fuel and food.

Thousands of people have signed on as contract workers because of the good pay. Workers can earn up to $120,000 tax-free for a year's work, including overtime.

The company declined to release additional information about Hulett, Montague and Parker or the missing workers for privacy reasons.

On Saturday, insurgents freed two Japanese hostages unhurt. That leaves 15 foreigners missing or confirmed abducted in a string of kidnappings alongside some of the worst violence in the country since the U.S.-led invasion began.

A Dane and a businessman from the United Arab Emirates were reported seized and an Italian security guard was killed last week.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)