Eugene R. Fidell, Associated Press
In this Aug. 2014 file photo provided by Eugene R. Fidell, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl prepares to be interviewed by Army investigators. U.S. officials have finished an investigation into how and why Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (boh BURG'-dahl) disappeared from his base in Afghanistan. Bergdahl was held captive for five years by the Taliban.

WASHINGTON — The fate of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl now rests with a top U.S. general in North Carolina who will decide if the soldier should be charged with desertion after he left his Afghanistan post in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban.

The charge of desertion during wartime carries a maximum penalty of death. The Army says the case was forwarded to Army Gen. Mark Milley, head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Milley will determine the appropriate action, which could range from no charges to convening a court martial.

Senior Army and Pentagon leaders were briefed on the investigation last week. Bergdahl reportedly walked away from his post on June 30, 2009. He was held by the Taliban for five years.