An aviator missing after a crash this week in the North Arabian Sea has been declared dead, the U.S. Navy said.
Lt. Steven Zilberman, 31 - who was born in Ukraine and considered Columbus, Ohio, his hometown - served in the Navy for nearly eight years, the Navy's Fifth Fleet in Bahrain said in a statement Friday.
ZilbermanÂ was missing after an E-2C Hawkeye from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower crashed Wednesday five miles from the carrier.
The Fifth Fleet said it suspended a search-and-rescue effort for Zilberman on Friday evening.
The Hawkeye, a twin turboprop aircraft that performs early warning and air traffic control functions, had been conducting duties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the name used for the war in Afghanistan, when the aircraft "experienced mechanical malfunctions," the statement said.
The crew then "performed a controlled bailout," theÂ Navy said. Â Three of the four crew members were rescued soon after the accident and returned to the Eisenhower in good condition.
Several ships and aircraft searched more than 5,300-square miles for Zilberman,Â the Fifth Fleet said.
"We are deeply saddened by this tremendous loss of a fellow aviator and shipmate," said Capt. Roy Kelley. "He will be truly missed, and our heart goes out to the Zilberman family during this very difficult time."