FORT HOOD, Tex. (UPI) — Military officials said Sunday that foul play is suspected in the death of a soldier stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, who went missing some 10 months ago.
Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales was last seen Aug. 19, 2019, driving a black Kia Rio near the Fort Hood base with his last known contact occurring the next day, igniting a search by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command for the 23-year-old Sapulpa, Okla., native.
The search ended Friday when the Killeen Police Department, home to Fort Hood, announced remains found earlier that day in a field in the central Texas city had been identified as those of Wedel-Morales.
On Sunday, the Army Criminal Investigation Command said in a statement Sunday that “foul play is suspected.”
Army special agents are working with the Killeen Police Department and have offered up to $25,000 for information concerning Wedel-Morales’ death.
“Morales was positively identified using dental records with the assistance of the U.S. Army Dental Corps,” the statement published on the Fort Hood Facebook page said, adding that an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause and manner of his death.
“The First Team is saddened by the news of the passing of Pvt. Gregory Morales,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, which Morales had been assigned to in November 2016.
Military officials said Morales was processing out from the Army and was scheduled to be discharged within days of his disappearance.
He is the second soldier stationed at the base to disappear in the past year, though officials said that at this point in their investigation “no credible information” has been found connecting the two cases.
Pfc. Vanessa Guillen was last seen April 22 in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters at Fort Hood, Army officials said, adding that her car keys, barracks room key, identification and wallet were later found in the armory where she had worked earlier that day.
“At this point, investigators have no credible information or report that Vanessa Guillen was sexually assaulted or that this case is in any way connected to the investigation into the disappearance of Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales,” a statement published last week on the Fort Hood Facebook page said. “Both of these allegations have been widely circulated via the media and on social media.”
More than 150 people have been interviewed concerning her disappearance, officials said.
A $25,000 reward has also been offered to anyone with information leading to her whereabouts.
“We know somebody out there has some very critical information pertaining to this investigation and we strongly encourage you to do the right thing and come forward,” said Chris Grey, spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Division. “Do it for Vanessa and do it for her family, friends and fellow soldiers.”
Reporting by Darryl Coote
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