Local protesters shift focus to disappearance of Army private from another Texas post
FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Protesters are expected to gather again Wednesday outside Fort Hood, but this time to press for answers in the disappearance of an Army private from Fort Bliss in El Paso.
Pvt. Richard Halliday, 21, was last seen on July 23 leaving his barracks room.
He failed to report for duty on July 24 and the unit to which he’s assigned, the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, which is part of the Army’s III Corps headquartered at Fort Hood, reported him AWOL on July 25.
Fort Bliss, unit areas, barracks and access points were searched for the next several days without success.
“Additionally unit leadership tried to contact family and local law enforcement and hospitals with no results. These were all measures in excess of standard Army absent without leave procedures,” the post said in a press release.
Over the next two months more than 200 volunteers searched within a six-square-mile radius of the 1-43 Regimental Headquarters, 80 barracks buildings, sinkholes, drainage areas, sewage systems, canals and railroad tracks.
“Off-post searches included multiple locations resulting from pings from a cell phone registered to Pvt. Richard Halliday and search of a frequented homeless area near Fort Bliss,” the post said.
In late September, after learning a witness had provided false information, changing the time Halliday was last seen on duty, the search area was widened to include more than 20 miles of the Franklin Mountains.
Halliday is 5-foot-9, weighs about 160 pounds and has black hair and hazel eyes.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division is offering a reward of as much as $25,000 for information in Halliday’s disappearance and the missing soldier’s parents are offering another $11,000.
Officials are asking anyone with information to call Fort Bliss Military Police Dispatch at (915) 744-2115, and or the Fort Bliss Military Police Investigative Office at (915) 305-1015.
Fort Hood has been the focus of a series of protests in recent months, most of them stemming from the disappearance of Spc. Vanessa Guillen and allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Guillen was last seen sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 22 in the parking lot of her 3rd Cavalry Regiment Engineer Squadron Headquarters.
The keys to her car and her barracks room and her ID card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she had worked earlier in the day.
More than two months later, on June 30, contractors working on a fence along the Leon River discovered what appeared to be human remains.
Investigators searched the area “and identified scattered human remains that appeared to have been placed into a concrete-like substance and buried.”
The remains were later confirmed to be Guillen’s.
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