Army officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, said Thursday they are still seeking information that could help them find a missing soldier who was last heard from at about 7:30 p.m. on April 29
Spc. Hunter Bruner, 24, was due to virtually check in with a noncommissioned officer from his unit the next day, but he never showed up, I Corps spokesman Neil Penttila told Army Times. It was supposed to be a routine accountability meeting during quarantine.
Bruner’s unit, the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, began searching for him at his barracks room and unit area before reaching out to law enforcement and Army Criminal Investigation Division to expand the effort, Penttila said in response to a series of emailed questions.
On May 1, local police found Bruner’s car abandoned in a lot at N. 10th and Juniper streets in Tacoma. The lot was near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, roughly 14 miles north of JBLM. The missing soldier’s cell phone was found inside the car.
“Army CID Special Agents interviewed several residents in the vicinity of where the vehicle was located and they reported seeing Bruner’s parked vehicle on the evening of April 29 and it had not moved since,” Penttila added. “Agents did not find anything suspicious in or around the vehicle.”
A search of the area, to include the water below the bridge, was conducted by Army CID and local authorities to no avail. There has been no activity on Bruner’s bank account since his disappearance, according to investigators.
Asked whether there is any clue yet as to why Bruner would be missing, Penttila said that the “facts around the case are the subject of a current, ongoing investigation by CID.”
Army officials have been “in constant contact” with the missing soldier’s family and are coordinating with local law enforcement, according to a statement posted Thursday by the 7th Infantry Division. “Please contact the JBLM Criminal Investigations Division at 253-967-3151 or local police department if you have any information related to the investigation.”
Bruner is a 6-foot-2, 203-pound white male with blue eyes and light brown hair. His home of record is Port Orchard, Washington.
He entered the Army in July 2017. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon
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.