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Missing West Point cadet found dead on campus grounds

Cadet Kade Kurita (U.S. Army photo/Released)
October 23, 2019

A missing United States Military Academy cadet who went missing over the weekend was found dead Tuesday night.

Kade Kurita, 20, of Gardena, California was first reported missing on Saturday after missing a Friday night military skills practice. Authorities are currently investigating the cause of Kurita’s death but do not suspect foul play, according to an Army Press release.

“We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita’s family and friends,” Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, said as he announced Kurita had been found in a Wednesday statement.

At the time he went missing, Kurita was believed to be in possession of an M4 rifle, but had no magazines or ammunition. Authorities did not believe Kurita posed a threat to others, but had raised concerns he could be a harm to himself.

Officials did not reveal what had happened to the missing rifle.

The search effort saw the participation of numerous federal, state and local officials covering up to 6,000 acres of search area. The New York State police and Orange County Sheriff’s Department joined in, and the Coast Guard conducted patrols of the New York shoreline.

“I would like to thank the N.Y. State police and the 23rd MP Company along with partners,” Williams said. “They exhibited exceptional professionalism as demonstrated by their tremendous efforts in searching for Cadet Kurita.”

About 130 soldiers also reportedly joined the search effort and academy officials reached out to local hospitals as search efforts continued on and off campus.

By Tuesday, officials in charge of search efforts took note of a lack of cell phone or financial activity by Kurita, which  led them to focus back to an area close to campus where they eventually found the missing cadet.

According to ABC news, approximately 4,000 cadets attend West Point, a four-year federal service academy.

Cadet Kurita was a member of the 2021 graduating class.

Another West Point cadet was killed in June of this year when a tactical vehicle rolled over. 19 other cadets and two soldiers were also injured the crash.