OTTAWA At approximately 4:00 p.m. Kandahar time, 23 April 2009, a Canadian Forces member was found dead in her accommodation room, at Kandahar Airfield. 

Deceased is Major Michelle Mendes, based in Ottawa, Ontario.

An investigation is ongoing to establish the circumstances of this incident. No further details are available at this time, although enemy action has been ruled out.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of our lost comrade. Our primary focus at this time is to provide the best possible support to the family of our soldier and to her colleagues.

The immediate family of Major Mendes has no comment at this time.  They are asking that the media respect their privacy and they will provide a statement in due course.