The Army is asking for the public’s help in its search for a soldier missing from Fort Hood, Texas, exactly one year after another soldier disappeared from the same base.
“We are seeking your help in locating Sgt. Elder Fernandes,” read an alert from Fort Hood’s Twitter account as well as other Army accounts. “Our primary concern is to ensure his safety and wellbeing.”
Police in Killeen, the town next to Fort Hood, said Fernandes, 23, had not been heard from by his family since Monday and was reported missing Wednesday.
Family members told police that he was last seen by his staff sergeant on Monday afternoon when he dropped him off at his home in Killeen.
His mother, Ailiana Fernandes, told NBC News that he had been in the hospital for four or five days before he went missing, though she did not know why he was hospitalized.
The disappearance of Fernandes, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist with the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, is the third such disappearance at Fort Hood in a year.
Spc. Vanessa Guillén, 20, went missing from the base in late April and her remains, found June 30 buried 20 miles away from Ford Hood near a lake, were discovered after the story gained national media attention.
Authorities suspect another soldier, Aaron Robinson, in Guillén’s death, though Robinson killed himself July 1 after he was confronted by police.
His girlfriend, Cecily Ann Aguilar, has been charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence by assisting in discarding Guillén’s body. She pleaded not guilty earlier this month.
Fernandes also went missing exactly one year after Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Gregory Wedel-Morales, 24, who was reported missing Aug. 20, 2019.
Wedel-Morales's remains were found in June in a field in Killeen and his death is under investigation.
The Army has since named an independent review panel consisting of five experts who will investigate whether personnel at Ford Hood enabled a climate of sexual harassment and discrimination to take hold on the base.