The two rifles lost by 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines are still missing, but Marines in the unit are no longer actively searching for the weapons as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has taken over the hunt, the Marine Corps confirmed Monday.
The rifles went missing in late December during an exercise at the unit’s home base of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 1st Lt. Dan Linfante, a spokesman for the 2nd Marine Division told Marine Corps Times Dec. 20.
Though he could not say exactly when the rifles went missing, Linfante did say the NCIS investigation started Dec. 18 and as of Dec. 20 Marines were still “actively searching” for the missing weapons Marine Corps Times previously reported.
In a Monday phone call, Linfante could not say when the Marines ended their active search for the weapons.
An NCIS spokesman said Monday that there are no updates on the search and the investigation is still ongoing.
Linfante did counter online rumors that Marines with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, were held back from preplanned holiday leave block.
“All the Marines that put in their requests in properly were afforded holiday leave,” Linfante said.