Military News

Keesler airman who died was found in a Biloxi river, coroner says

Luis Cisneros-Godinez
Luis Cisneros-Godinez Keesler Air Force Base

The body of an airman stationed at Keesler Air Force Base was recovered from the Tchoutacabouffa River, officials said Monday.

He has been identified as Staff Sgt. Luis O. Cisneros-Godinez, 31, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said Monday.

Keesler announced the death of an active-duty service member Sunday afternoon, saying the airman was assigned to Keesler’s 81st Training Wing.

He was a medical lab technical with the 81st Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron with the 81s Medical Group, 81st Training Wing, Keesler officials announced Monday evening.

Cisneros-Godinez disappeared Saturday from behind Arbor Landing on the River, the waterfront complex where he lived, Hargrove said. Officers received a 911 call at 12:29 p.m. Saturday for a possible drowning behind the complex at 1850 Popp’s Ferry Road.

Biloxi police and firefighters and a number of other first responders went to the area and began to search for him.

His remains were found at 8:18 a.m. Sunday, Hargrove said late Monday afternoon.

Hargrove said his death is under investigation.

Cisneros-Godinez joined the Air Force on March 10, 2009, in Gardena, California.

“Luis was a treasured part of medical team here at Keelser,” said Col. Debra Lovette, 81st TRW commander.

“His loss is felt by all of us,” Lovette said in a news release.

Cisneros-Godinez’s peers mourn his loss, said Col. Stephanie Buffett, 81st MDTS commander, and Col. Bea Dolihite, 81st MDG commander.

“His strong work ethic and confident quiet approach could be relied upon for any mission,” Buffett said. “His fellow airmen. teammates, family and friends are in our prayers.

Dolihite described him as “a true medic who showed compassion and kindness to all.”

Keelser officials are encouraging military personnel or dependents who would like to receive counseling to contact a base chaplain, the Keelser Mental Health Team, Military & Family Life Counselors or their unit first sergeants. Phone numbers for resources are available on the Keesler Air Force Base App or at

He is the second airman stationed at Keesler to die in two months.

First Lt. Sonagnon Dabli, 29, died on base on Aug. 21. He was a bio-environmental engineer also assigned the 81st Training Wing. Details on his cause of death have not been released.

Paul Hampton of the Sun Herald contributed to this report.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews