Wednesday, 24 June 2020 18:37

Missing Soldier from Fort Hood Body Recovered - Gregory Morales

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June 24th, 2020 - Army Times

The remains of one of two missing Fort Hood soldiers were discovered Friday in Killeen, Texas, according to Fort Hood officials.

The skeletal remains have been positively identified as those of Pvt. Gregory Morales.

Morales’ remains were discovered in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road Friday morning after U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Special Agents received information as to the location of the body, according to a Fort Hood media release.

Foul play is suspected at this point in the investigation. Army Special Agents are working closely with the Killeen Police Department and are offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone with credible information concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of Morales.

Morales was positively identified using dental records with the assistance of the U.S. Army Dental Corps. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause and manner of death.

Investigators say they “have no credible information that this case is in any way connected to the search for Pfc. Vanessa Guillen who went missing from Fort Hood in April. That investigation is still being aggressively investigated,” the release states.95150816 2558022634447403 8880072994488057856 n

Morales’ mother, Kim Wedel, told a local television station that investigators found her son’s remains.

"It was a missing soldier. My missing soldier Greg Wedel," his mother, Kim Wedel wrote in an email Saturday to Houston ABC station KTRK.

Police said skeletal remains were found Friday in a field several miles from Fort Hood, after a tip to Army criminal investigators. Army officials confirmed the identity on Sunday. Morales was last seen driving his personal vehicle off-post in the town of Killeen on the night of Aug. 19, 2019. He was driving a 2018 Black KIA Rio with temporary Texas license tags – 46190B3, according to the Army. The vehicle has since been recovered by authorities.

He was set to be discharged within a couple of days when he disappeared, according to the Army. Though his mother told a Texas television station her son’s remains were found, Morales still appears to be listed as a deserter by the Army, with the date of desertion one month after he was last seen.

The last known verbal contact with Morales was Aug. 20, 2019. Morales, also known as Gregory Wedel, was out processing from the Army and was scheduled to be discharged within a couple of days when he disappeared. Wedel was his last name before taking his wife’s name in marriage.

Wedel, Morales’ mother, told local Texas media that her daughter-in-law tracked down Morales’ vehicle on Carfax. It was in Dallas this December and is now held by Army CID. She also said she does not believe her son would have intentionally vanished given that he was set to be discharged.

“What it would tell me is that they also suspect something has happened at this point, beyond him just going AWOL,” Wedel said.

As investigators work to find answers about what happened to Morales, they are also searching for Guillen, another missing Fort Hood soldier.

The 3rd Cavalry Regiment on Fort Hood, Texas, is conducting its own investigation into allegations that Guillen, 20, faced sexual harassment from a sergeant prior to her April 22 disappearance, according to a Texas congresswoman lobbying for answers.

Investigators say they “have no credible information that this case is in any way connected to the search for Pfc. Vanessa Guillen who went missing from Fort Hood in April. That investigation is still being aggressively investigated,” the release states.

rawImageGuillen’s family has lobbied for Army CID and Fort Hood officials to be more transparent about the ongoing investigation and search process.

Rep. Sylvia García said during a press conference Tuesday with Guillen’s family that she has been in touch with Col. Ralph Overland, 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander.

Guillen’s family has said that the missing soldier complained to her mother about an Army sergeant who was sexually harassing her and following her on runs prior to her disappearance.

“I was pleased this morning, on a call with the colonel, he mentioned that he had formed his own internal investigative group to look at every allegation related to sexual assault or sexual harassment in this case,” García said Tuesday afternoon. “So I’m hopeful that that, too, will shed light on this.”

Officials from 3rd Cavalry Regiment confirmed last week that Overland appointed a team led by a senior investigating officer to conduct an AR 15-6 Investigation into allegations by Guillen’s family that the soldier was sexually harassed.

Guillen’s older sister, Mayra, told Army Times last week she was unsure whether her sister ultimately reported the sexual harassment to the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program. A website for Guillen states she told her mother she was worried her allegations would get her in trouble or be brushed aside.


“We know that the armed services do not always have the best record when it comes to cases of sexual assault,” García said. “So we cannot let these allegations go without full investigation.”

García also asked the regiment commander for “a concrete deadline about what they have been doing to find Vanessa and ensure there is more transparency in this case.”

“We are still waiting on information from the base, and I would certainly like the FBI to have a more robust investigation in conjunction with [Army CID],” García added.

Mayra, Guillen’s sister, wants the FBI to take over the case from Army CID, because of what she termed the lack of information being provided.

Guillen’s family has raised questions about how much of a search effort is actually underway, as well as about the absence of video surveillance records. The family was told there is no camera in the armory where Guillen worked prior to her disappearance before 1 p.m. April 22.

“It happened inside a federal building, a military base, and we still don’t get answers as to who, what, where exactly and why,” Mayra said last week.

Persons with information can contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-287-2722 or the Military Police Desk at 254-288-1170. They can also anonymously submit information at https://www.cid.army.mil/report-a-crime.html. They can also contact their local police departments. People wishing to remain anonymous will be honored to the degree allowable under the law and the information will be held in the strictest confidence allowable.

Read 174 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 June 2020 18:50

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