WASHINGTON — The military has obtained a video of captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that refers to events last month, a sign that the long-held Bergdahl may still be alive.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed there is a video of Bergdahl.
Bergdahl was 23 when he disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. Last June, the Taliban said it would free Bergdahl in exchange for five senior officials held by the United States at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
A second Pentagon official said the video is legitimate and shows Bergdahl in declining health. The video is thought to be about a month old. The military obtained the video in the last few days, said the official, who asked to speak anonymously because the information was not authorized to be released publicly.
Bergdahl's family provided a statement through Idaho National Guard Col. Tim Marsano to the Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho: "Today we learned that a new video of our son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has been distributed by his captors.
"Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible.
"As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father."
The prospects of talks last year revived hopes that Bergdahl might be released, and his family was "encouraged by the possibility of discussions," Marsano said last year.
"We cannot discuss all the details ... of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis — using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools — we work to get Sgt. Bergdahl returned home safely," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jim Gregory said in a statement last year.