Dhaifal Ali, 34, a 101st Airborne Division soldier and former Muslim who drowned in the Little West Force Creek at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in July after he was swept away by strong currents was reportedly baptized by popular internet preacher and fellow soldier Marcus Rogers in the same creek shortly before his death.
Army officials said Ali's body was found by emergency personnel on July 12, five days after he was initially swept away at the low water crossing on Fort Campbell, according to the Army Times. He was reportedly off duty with two other soldiers from his unit when the accident occurred.
A recent News Channel 5 report identified one of the soldiers who was with Ali the day he died as popular internet preacher and Staff Sergeant Marcus Rogers who has amassed more than 400,000 followers on Facebook alone with his End Times preaching.
Rogers recently sparked a bit of controversy online when he launched a GoFundMe campaign seeking to raise more than $455,000 so he can travel to preach the Gospel.
"I plan on using the money for transportation to and from my speaking engagements. I will use it to fly, drive, get lodging and food expenses. I have asked for donations from my followers who have been asking me to make donations to my ministry for a long time," Rogers said in his appeal for funding.
According to New Channel 5, the Army is still investigating Ali's death. Pictures posted on Facebook by Rogers shows that Ali was at the creek with him to get baptized even though the late married father of two wanted to keep his conversion quiet.
A person described as a close friend of Ali's told News Channel 5 that as far as they knew Ali was a Muslim who had been attending a Christian church and was planning to convert.
Online evidence cited by the network said Rogers also posted a text conversation he had with a Muslim soldier at Fort Campbell, believed to be Ali, in which the solder confessed his plans to convert.
"I will convert from ISLAM to CHRISTIAN but do not inform anyone," the soldier told Rogers.
The friend told News Channel 5 that Ali didn't want other Muslim soldiers to know what he was doing.
Fort Campbell officials have so far labelled the death as accidental and Rogers has also reportedly denied playing any role in Ali's death, claiming on social media that the events that day were all captured on video.
Reacting to Ali's death, Rogers said, "my heart is so broken" and urged people to pray for Ali's "children, his wife and our unit as a whole."
Ali was from Arlington, Texas. He was assigned to the 372nd Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade.
He joined the Army in March 2013 and trained to become a motor transport operations specialist and was assigned to Fort Campbell in February.
He is survived by his wife, Marwah Raad Faisal; son, Anas Dhaifal Hussain and daughter, Maryem Dhaifal Hussain.