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American, 22, killed fighting alongside Ukrainian forces, his family says

Willy Joseph Cancel agreed to go to Ukraine as part of his work with a private military contracting company, his mother told CNN. He died Monday.

An American fighting with Ukrainian forces has been killed in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to his family. 

Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, died Monday in Ukraine, his family members confirmed to CNN

Cancel, a former U.S. Marine, agreed to go to Ukraine as part of his work with a private military contracting company, his mother, Rebecca Cabrera, told the news outlet.

NBC News has reached out to Cancel’s family and the State Department for confirmation overnight but did not hear back. 

Cancel went to Ukraine in mid-March and leaves behind his wife and their 7-month-old, his mother said.

“He wanted to go over because he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for, and he wanted to be a part of it to contain it there so it didn’t come here, and that maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in it,” Cabrera told CNN.

She said that his body has not been found.

This story was originally published on NBCNews.com.