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West Point Cadet and M4 rifle missing since Friday – search underway

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp)
October 21, 2019

A cadet at the United States Military Academy remains unaccounted for as does an M4 rifle after going missing on Friday evening.

While the rifle is missing, authorities do not believe the cadet has magazines or ammunition in his possession, CNN reported Sunday. Academy officials believe the West Point cadet does not pose a danger to the public but may pose a danger to himself.

The cadet was last seen on West Point grounds on Friday around 5:30 p.m. The cadet was expected at a military skills competition, but his teammates raised concerns almost immediately when the cadet did not show.

An initial search of the campus grounds went underway, but proved unsuccessful, leading military police to begin their own search early Saturday morning.

Academy officials also notified the New York State Police, who offered helicopter, K-9 and drone support for the search.

The Coast Guard was notified around 6:30 a.m. to begin a shoreline search for the missing cadet.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department was also notified and the academy reached out to the Keller Army Community Hospital and other local hospitals to make sure the missing cadet hadn’t been checked in to the hospital for medical treatment.

“I want to thank the local and state law enforcement agencies and emergency services for their tireless support,” Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the 60th Superintendent at the US Military Academy at West Point, said in a statement. “We will continue to search with all means possible, on and off West Point. Safely locating the Cadet remains our focus and number one priority.”

A name, pictures or other details about the identity of the missing cadet were not included in the press release by West Point, but it was revealed the missing cadet was a member of the graduating class of 2021.

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

Williams assumed his role as the 60th West Point Superintendent in June of 2018. Prior to his appointment, Williams was the Deputy chief of staff to the United States Army Europe in Germany, and was assistant surgeon general for warrior care and transition.

Later on, Williams became the deputy commanding general in the Republic of Korea and held a role as commander of the United States Army Africa in Italy.

In 2014, Williams was assigned by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis at a command center in Liberia.