WASHINGTON - A U.S. senator says the key to finding the remains of a pilot missing for nearly 20 years turned out to be an Iraqi nomad who as a child witnessed the pilot's desert burial.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says that Iraqi led U.S. Marines to another nomad who knew the actual burial site of Navy Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate Wednesday, Nelson noted that the military had followed many fruitless leads over the last eight years. He said the Pentagon came to believe the answer would be found in the Bedouin tribes based in the area when Speicher's jet went down on the first night of the 1991 Gulf War.

The Pentagon said over the weekend the remains were found last month and were positively identified as Speicher on Saturday.