Elder Fernandes, Another Fort Hood Soldier, Has Gone Missing
The news comes not long after the disappearance and alleged murder of Vanessa Guillen at the Texas base.
Sergeant Elder Fernandes, a 23-year-old soldier at Fort Hood, was reported missing by the United States Army this week, and now they're asking for the public's help to find him. Fernandes — a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade — was last seen on Monday afternoon by his staff sergeant, who had dropped him off at his home in Killeen, Texas. "The 1st Cavalry Division is actively attempting to locate Sgt. Elder Fernandes who has gone missing," the Army said in a statement. "Our primary concern is for his health and well-being."
The Army said they have already completed a search of "the entire division area," including parking lots and headquarters buildings. "The unit is in contact with the Soldiers Family [sic], the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and civilian law enforcement agencies to help find him as we continue our search," the Army's statement continued.
"This is very, very unusual," Isbael Fernandes, Elder's aunt, told CNN affiliate KTRK, adding that the last time she spoke to her nephew was last Friday morning and that he'd called his mother on Sunday. Elder had promised he would call again on Monday. "Monday came and went and he didn't call, and he didn't answer calls from anyone else," she said. "Tuesday, no calls, and my sister ended up flying down there yesterday, and still we haven't heard from him."
Fort Hood has been in the center of the news this year after the disappearance and alleged murder of Vanessa Guillen, who went missing in April. Aaron David Robinson — another Fort Hood soldier and the main suspect in her killing — committed suicided when he was confronted by investigators. Other soldiers have been found dead on the base, including Pvt. 2nd Class Gregory Scott Morales, whose remains were found in a Killeen field in mid-June, 10 months after he'd vanished. At the time, Fort Hood said in a statement that foul play is suspected in his death as well.