Texas authorities searching for missing Fort Hood soldier, latest in string of disappearances

KILLEEN, Texas — The Killeen Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating Sgt. Elder Fernandes, the latest in a string of Fort Hood soldier to go missing from the post since 2019.

Family members told KXXV they have not heard from Fernandes, 23, since Monday, and he was formally reported missing Wednesday. He is assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade.

Fernandes was last seen by his staff sergeant Monday afternoon when he dropped the solider off at his Killeen residence in the 2700 block of Woodlands Drive, the TV station reported.

Fernandes, who was last seen wearing black Army shorts, a T-shirt and red athletic shoes, is 5 feet, 4-inches tall and weighs roughly 133 pounds.

“Our primary concern is for his health and well-being,” the post stated in a release issued late Thursday.

“We have completed a search of the entire division area, to include motor pools, parking lots, and headquarters buildings, and the unit is in contact with the soldier’s family, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and civilian law enforcement agencies to help find him as we continue our search. Finding him and ensuring his safety is a top priority for the division.”

Fernandes’ disappearance is the latest in a string dating back to the Aug. 19, 2019, disappearance of 24-year-old Pvt. 2nd-Class Gregory Wedel-Morales. Morales’ skeletal remains were discovered June 21 in a Killeen field about 10 miles from Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

Meanwhile, Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, 27, was found shot to death May 18 in Harker Heights next to his burned Jeep.

U.S. Army officials found more human remains July 1, later identified as Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who had been missing since April 22. Guillen’s remains were found about 20 miles east of the post.

On July 17, U.S. Army officials found the body of Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, near the same lake. He had been missing since the previous day.

Detectives with the Killeen Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division are asking anyone who has seen Fernandes or know of his whereabouts to contact the department at (254) 200-7905.

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