Army, police searching for missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes

Elder Fernandes last spoke to his family Monday and was supposed to pick up the keys to his new apartment but never arrived.

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Friday, August 21, 2020
Police are asking for your help in locating a missing Ft. Hood soldier
Police are asking for your help in locating a missing Ft. Hood soldier.

A search is underway for another missing soldier from Fort Hood, weeks after the remains of 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen were found.

Police in Killeen, Texas, asked for the public's help Thursday night in finding Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23. He has not been heard from by his family since Monday, Aug. 17, when family members told them he was last seen by his staff sergeant, police said.

His car with his belongings was found on post. He had just signed a new lease but never picked up his keys, according to his aunt, Isabel Fernandes.

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"This is very, very unusual. He has been in touch with us since last week. I personally spoke to him Friday morning. He spoke with his mom this past Sunday and he promised he would call on Monday," Fernandes told ABC7's sister station ABC13. "Monday came and went and he didn't call, and he didn't answer calls from anyone else. Tuesday, no calls and my sister ended up flying down there yesterday, and still we haven't heard from him."

Fernandes is from Massachusetts. His mother traveled to Fort Hood to press Army officials, said her sister.

Texas Equusearch, a search and rescue group, has offered to help in the search. A search is being planned for Saturday.

"Our primary concern is to ensure his wellbeing and safety," the first cavalry division wrote in a tweet.

Fernandes' disappearance comes in the wake of Guillen's death. Her disappearance and murder has garnered national attention and thrust the third largest Army base into the spotlight. The Army announced an independent command climate review.

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"We are here all worried. He has a big family and we need to find him and we need to find him alive," said his aunt.

Fernandes is about 5'4" and weighs roughly 133 pounds. He was last seen wearing black Army physical training shorts and a T-shirt with red athletic shoes.

Anyone with information on Fernandes's whereabouts is urged to contact the Fort Hood Military Police at 254-288-1170 or U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Department at 254-287-2722.