A Fort Hood soldier who has been missing since Monday had been transferred to a different unit because he was the victim in an “abusive sexual contact” investigation, the Army said.
Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam, a 1st Cavalry Division public affairs officer, told CNN in a statement that there is an “open investigation of abusive sexual contact” involving Sgt. Elder Fernandes and confirmed that Fernandes was the victim in the investigation.
“The unit sexual assault response coordinator has been working closely with Sgt. Fernandes, ensuring he was aware of all his reporting, care, and victim advocacy options,” Brautigam said. “The unit also facilitated his transfer from a unit who has recently deployed to a different unit within the brigade to ensure he received the proper care and ensure there were no opportunities for reprisals.”
Fernandes, 23, is assigned to a unit in the 1st Cavalry Division. He was last seen Monday afternoon by his staff sergeant when he was dropped off at his home in Killeen, Texas, the soldier’s family told police.