Three Afghan Officers Who Disappeared On Cape Cod Found Squatting On Side Of Road Staring At Cars

HYANNISTAN, Mass. — The three Afghan military officers who went missing during a training exercise on Cape Cod have been found by authorities, after motorists reported them being seen squatting alongside a roadway just staring at passing cars, Duffel Blog has learned.

"Numerous motorists reported to the State Police there were a group of men squatting alongside the road for hours," said spokesman Col. Sean O'Brien of the Mass. State Police, who also noted one witness claiming that one of the Afghans had dug a slit trench along Route 6 to relieve himself.

The disappearance of Maj. Jan Mohammed Arash, Capt. Mohammed Nasir Askarzada, and Capt. Noorullah Aminy set off a state-wide manhunt, sources confirmed. The trio were eventually picked up near the Canadian border in a stolen vehicle, which authorities thought suspicious since it had jingling metal and other trinkets attached all around its sides.

"The sheep in the backseat also set off alarm bells," O'Brien said.

While a senior law enforcement official told reporters the soldiers were "trying to defect," one source told Duffel Blog their intentions may have instead been to elope.

"They were heading to Niagara for their honeymoon," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was speaking about an active investigation. "They were unarmed, but they did have multiple rolls of colored cellophane tape. Red, yellow, green. God only knows how gaudily they would have decorated any weapons had they found some, though."

At press time, noted hero of the 9/11 attacks and actor Mark Wahlberg tweeted his support to law enforcement: "So proud of Mass. State Police for a job well done. But if I was there, I would've found those guys way faster."

Duffel Blog investigative journalists Jay-B and Jay contributed reporting.