Army Criminal Investigation Command is seeking information from the public that could lead to the whereabouts of a soldier assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, who went missing May 22 in the Outer Banks.
Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez, 21, was last seen on Friday, at a campsite near Mile Marker 46 on South Core Banks, one of the islands that make up Cape Lookout National Seashore, a 56-mile-long stretch of barrier islands on the North Carolina coast.
Roman-Martinez’s friends reported him missing Saturday evening, Army CID officials said. His phone and wallet were found at the campsite and he was last seen wearing blue shorts and no T-shirt.
A Coast Guard helicopter, marine patrol boats and National Park Service Rangers were dispatched to search the island and surrounding waters for signs of Roman-Martinez on Sunday and Monday.
“At this point, CID is assisting in this search effort due to our unique capabilities and skill set, and we are exploring all possibilities,” Army CID spokesman Chris Grey said. “We take this extremely seriously and are doing everything we can to assist in finding this soldier. His health and welfare is our main concern.”
While there is not a reward offered at this point, Grey said the Army is encouraging anyone with information, “regardless of how minor it may seem,” to come forward. People can submit information anonymously through this tip management website, Grey added.
National Park officials are also asking locals whether anyone helped the missing soldier off the island.
“Did you see this young man on the Cape or perhaps give him a ride off the island?" a Cape Lookout National Seashore social media post reads. "He walked away from his friends very early on Saturday morning without water or other supplies and has not been seen since. His friends and family have become concerned as they have not been able to contact him.”
Roman-Martinez is of Hispanic descent. He is approximately 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs roughly 120 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.
Army CID officials said that anyone who has information about Roman-Martinez’s whereabouts, but who wishes to remain anonymous, will be allowed to do so to the degree allowable under the law.
Anyone with information should contact Army CID special agents at 910-396-8777 or the Fort Bragg military police desk at 910-396-1179. They can also contact their local law enforcement agencies, officials added.
Army CID has also been investigating the disappearance of another soldier based at Fort Hood, in Texas.
Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who was assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment on post, went missing on April 22 after being last seen in the parking lot of her squadron headquarters. The Army is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for credible information leading to her whereabouts.
Guillen’s car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory where she had been working earlier in the day, post officials said days after her disappearance. She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and purple fitness-type pants.
“It is an open and active investigation, therefore not much detailed information can be released at this time to safeguard the process,” said Fort Hood spokesman Tom Rheinlander in a statement.
The search for Guillen continues both on and off post by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Rangers, county sheriffs and local police departments, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Game Wardens and the FBI, Rheinlander said.
“Initially, 3rd Cavalry Regiment had more than 500 soldiers a day searching on foot in training areas, barracks and across the installation,” Rheinlander’s statement reads. “More targeted searches are ongoing with smaller groups of soldiers.”
Aircraft from the 1st Cavalry Division also flew more than 100 hours to aid in the search both on and off the installation, the statement added.
Anyone who may have information that could help in the safe return of Guillen is encouraged to call Army CID agents at 254-495-7767 and share that information with them.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.