msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 5/4/2012 11:29:51 AM ET 2012-05-04T15:29:51

The Texas-based wife of an Army nurse serving in Afghanistan witnessed her husband's death as the two video chatted via Skype, his family said Friday.

The circumstances of Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark's death on Monday were not immediately available.

An Army spokesman, however, said it is believed that Clark died of natural causes and that an autopsy is being conducted to make a final determination, according to CNN.

"We believe his death was from natural causes," CNN quoted Clarence Davis, a spokesman for the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, where Clark was based, as saying.

The Pentagon said the 43-year-old officer was formerly from Spencerport, N.Y.

"Bruce's wife tragically witnessed her husband's death during one of their regular Skype video-chats on Monday," Taber-Clark said in a prepared statement. "At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be."

Clark, a clinical staff nurse who had worked in the ICU at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, was deployed in March. Yobeta said he was stationed in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan.

Taber-Thomas said Clark is survived by his wife and two daughters, age 3 and 9.

Taber-Thomas said the soldier's body was returned Thursday to Dover Air Force Base.

"Although the circumstances were unimaginable, Bruce's wife and extended family will be forever thankful that he and his wife were together in his last moments," he said.

A funeral is planned in Spencerport, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester and his wife's hometown, but details were not immediately available. Clark and his wife moved there in 2000 and he joined the Army six years later.

A memorial service also was planned for Addison, Mich., where Clark graduated from high school.

"We are entrusting the military with investigating and with finding out what happened to Capt. Clark," Bradley Taber-Thomas, Clark's brother-in-law, told The Associated Press.

"While we understand the interest our family's tragedy will attract given the unique circumstances, we ask that our privacy be respected during our time of grief," Taber-Thomas said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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