Following the tragic story of Vanessa Guillen, another Fort Hood soldier — also the victim of sexual abuse — has gone missing, in a string of disappearances connected to the army post. According to reports, 23-year-old Sgt. Elder Fernandes was last seen on Monday afternoon of last week. His family reported him missing on Wednesday.
Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23, was last seen by his staff sergeant on Monday afternoon, when the sergeant dropped him off at his residence, according to the Killeen Police Department. Fernandes is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist at Fort Hood. His family reported him missing on Wednesday when they were unable to get in contact with him. In a statement to CNN, Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam, a 1st Cavalry Division public affairs officer, said that there is an “open investigation of abusive sexual contact” involving Fernandes, who was classified as a victim in the inquest. “The unit sexual assault response coordinator has been working closely with Sgt. Fernandes, ensuring he was aware of all his reporting, care, and victim advocacy options,” Brautigam’s statement reads. “The unit also facilitated his transfer from a unit who has recently deployed to a different unit within the brigade to ensure he received the proper care and ensure there were no opportunities for reprisals.”
The remains of Pvt. 2nd Class Gregory Wedel-Morales and Pfc. Vanessa Guillen were both found in two separate instances in June. Spc. Aaron David Robinson, Guillen’s suspected killer, died by a reported suicide in jail and “Earlier this month, Brandon Michael Olivares, 28, was accused of killing 27-year-old Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, a Fort Hood soldier found fatally shot on a secluded roadside May 18,” PEOPLE notes.
We are praying Fernandes is found safe and sound.