Another Fort Hood soldier has disappeared, and the Killeen Police Department and law enforcement officials at the Texas base are asking for the public’s help as they try to locate him.
Sgt. Elder Fernandez, 23, was last seen by his staff sergeant on Monday afternoon, members of his family told Killeen police officers Wednesday. The staff sergeant dropped him off at his residence in the 2700 block of Woodlands Drive in Killeen, according to a police department news release.
The soldier, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist, is assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, according to multiple local news media outlets.
Fernandez is approximately 5-foot-4 and 133 pounds, according to the police news release. He was last seen wearing black Army PT shorts and T-shirt with red athletic shoes.
The 1st Cavalry Division tweeted a “Missing Soldier Alert” Thursday night.
“We are actively searching to locate him and continue to stay in touch with his Family, friends, and law enforcement,” the tweet said. “Our primary concern is to ensure his safety and wellbeing.”
Base officials asked anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to contact the Fort Hood Military Police at 254-288-1170 or U.S. Army CID at 254-287-2722.
Detectives with the Killeen PD’s Criminal Investigation Division are asking anyone who has seen Fernandez or knows his whereabouts to contact the Killeen Police Department at 254 200-7905.
Fort Hood has had a disturbing number of soldiers go missing in recent years.
In the most infamous case, Spc. Vanessa Guillen was bludgeoned to death by a fellow soldier inside a Fort Hood armory and later dismembered to hide the remains, according to federal prosecutors. Guillen had disappeared April 22. Her remains were found in early July.
Last summer, Pvt. Gregory Morales disappeared days before he was set to be discharged from the Army. His skeletal remains were finally discovered in June in Killeen.
Eight soldiers have died on or near Fort Hood this year. Five of those deaths have been publicly linked to foul play.
An independent command climate review is ongoing at the central Texas installation, which is home to 45,000 soldiers. In a visit to the base earlier in August, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters the review, among other things, will attempt to identify causes of high crime rates in the area and will look not only at Fort Hood, but also the surrounding community.