Photo: Killeen PD
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An urgent search is underway right now for Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23, who mysteriously disappeared on Monday afternoon after his staff sergeant dropped him off at his home in Killeen on the 2700 block of Woodlands Drive, Killeen police say. The U.S. Army and Killeen PD are now asking for the public’s help and any information in this case.
“We are actively searching to locate him and continue to stay in contact with his family, friends and law enforcement,” Killeen PD officials tweeted, “Our primary concern is to ensure his safety and wellbeing.”
Killeen police officials describe Fernandes as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, weighing 133 pounds and was last seen wearing a black Army physical training shorts and T-shirt and red athletic shoes.
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Fernandes’ disappearance comes after a string of mysterious tragedies have shaken the third largest Army base in the world.
On July 1, Army officials found human remains identified as Houston native Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, a Fort Hood soldier who had been missing since April. Guillen’s disappearance and murder devastated the southeast Houston community where she was raised and sparked a national outcry over sexual harassment within Army ranks. After her death, the Army has announced an independent command climate review, according to the U.S. Secretary of the Army.
“Besides Guillen, at least 7 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood have died or been found dead since March, including one who took his life after becoming a suspect in Guillen’s disappearance,” CNN reported.
Only a year ago, Pfc. Gregory Morales, 24, a Fort Hood soldier was reported missing on Aug. 20, 2019. Authorities then later discovered his remains on June 21 in Killeen, just over 10 miles from Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Officials are also investigating another Fort Hood soldier’s mysterious death, Brandon Scott Rosecrans after he was found dead on May 18 in Harker Heights, Texas, according to Fort Hood.
Fernandes’ family is desperately searching for him and pleading for any information in his disappearance. He is originally from Massachusetts and had just signed a new lease on his but failed to pick up his keys.
“We are here all worried. He has a big family,” his aunt, Isabel Fernandes told ABC-13. “We need to find him, and we need to find him alive.”
If you have any information in this case, please contact Fort Hood military police at 254.288.1170 or U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command at 254.287.2722.