Nobody knows - or at least nobody would tell the DB - what specifically started the June 4 altercation at 5 am. But the fight quickly escalated and ended with Melgar losing consciousness. He also stopped breathing. The SEALs attempted to open an airway in Melgar's throat, officials said. It is unknown whether Melgar died immediately. The SEALs and another Green Beret, according to former AFRICOM officials, drove to a nearby French clinic seeking help. Melgar was dead when he arrived at the clinic, the official said. Asphyxiation was the cause of death. While his death was initially ruled an accident, NCIS investigators now suspect that he was strangled to death. Melgar had been working directly with the SEALs during the intelligence mission in Mali.