Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales Reported AWOL; Based on Anonymous Tip, Remains Found in Shallow Grave in Killeen 10 Months Later (August 19, 2019)

Gregory Wedel-Morales

Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, U.S. Army

Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying
at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

The skeletal remains of missing Fort Hood Army Pvt. Gregory Scott Morales (Gregory Wedel-Morales) were discovered June 19, 2020 in a shallow grave in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road in Killeen, Texas. Pvt. Wedel-Morales was last seen in Killeen on August 19, 2019 in his private vehicle (the vehicle was later recovered by authorities). Gregory was out-processing and due to be out of the Army within a couple days before he disappeared. The Army labeled him AWOL (Absent Without Leave), then deserter, and went about their business. Gregory’s family called attention to his disappearance and it wasn’t until Fort Hood Pfc. Vanessa Guillen disappeared that the Army started referring to Gregory as missing and offered a reward. After the Army CID offered a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone with credible information, they received an anonymous tip that led to the discovery of his body. Both Gregory and Vanessa were considered AWOL and it wasn’t until Vanessa’s family was able to garner nationwide support that the Army took either of the missing cases seriously. In the last year, Gregory and Vanessa were both labeled AWOL yet murdered and buried in shallow graves outside the base. Obviously, foul play is suspected and now the Army CID is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of Gregory Wedel-Morales. Both the Army CID and the Killeen Police Department have jurisdiction as Gregory was found in Killeen.

“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.”

“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 more here.

Pvt Gregory Wedel-Morales

Click here for the remainder of the Fort Hood Press Center Press Release (be forewarned they will delete this history eventually)

In the case of Wedel-Morales, his unit called his mother, Kim Wedel, on Aug. 21 and asked her when was the last time she had talked to him because he didn’t show up for formation, she said. “Next thing they tell me, he’s AWOL,” Wedel said. “I filed a missing person report with the Killeen Police Department, but they said that since he was an adult, the best thing you can do is use social media to find him.” “My perception is nothing was going on until they (Fort Hood) were forced into it. I reached out (to CID) and said, ‘hey, this young lady deserves a reward, but what about my son?’ We had nothing until this reward came out and got a tip,” she said. “If we had done this to begin with, we may not have had to wait 10 months.” Because of his status as a deserter, Wedel said the family cannot even give him a proper military burial until an autopsy confirms he has been dead since he disappeared. Read more from Killeen Daily Herald here.

In the News:

Morales was last seen driving his car outside of Fort Hood in Killeen in the night of August 19, 2019. -KCEN News (June 15, 2020)

“He just ended up in a shallow grave in a field without anyone knowing where he was. They didn’t go out to look for him and that really stings,” Nick Wedel says. -KCEN News (June 21, 2020)

The family of Gregory Morales is petitioning for a change in Army policy after Morales was listed AWOL and then deserter before the remains of his body were found. -KCEN News (June 21, 2020)

Each time the family of former Fort Hood soldier, Pvt. Gregory Morales, gets news about his status with the military, it brings them more pain. -ABC13 Houston (July 2, 2020)

Related Links:
Reward Increased: Missing Fort Hood Soldier Pvt. Gregory Morales
Reward increased | Up to $25,000 to locate missing Fort Hood soldier Gregory Morales
Army offers $25K for info leading to soldier who vanished days before discharge
Anonymous Tip Leads To Missing Fort Hood Soldier Gregory Morales’ Skeletal Remains
Remains identified as soldier stationed at Fort Hood, Texas
Confirmed | Skeletal remains found in Killeen identified as missing Fort Hood Soldier Gregory Morales, Army CID confirms
Army confirms body found near Fort Hood is missing soldier Gregory Morales
Army CID confirms skeletal remains discovered are those of Gregory Wedel-Morales
Missing Fort Hood Soldier’s Remains Are Found in Field, and Foul Play Is Suspected
Foul play suspected in death of Ft. Hood soldier Gregory Wedel Morales, Army says
Unidentified Remains Found in Same Area as Body of Fort Hood Soldier
Family of Fort Hood soldier whose remains found in Killeen wants military funeral
Mother of Gregory Morales pushing for change in deserter status of her son
Sapulpa family searching for answers after missing soldier’s remains found in Texas
Family of soldier found dead speaks out
Two soldiers missing for months from the same post
Friends describe Pvt. Gregory Morales as a ‘sweetheart,’ and ‘happy soul’
Remains found at 2nd location amid search for missing Fort Hood soldier
Soldier identified, reward offered for info
Family of deceased Fort Hood soldier hoping to have ‘deserter’ status changed
Family of fallen Fort Hood soldier Gregory Morales wants him buried with military honors
Gregory Morales’ brother speaks about missing soldier case, body discovery
Gregory Morales’ brother speaks about missing soldier case, body discovery
Wedel family fights to clear Gregory Morales’ name in order to have military burial
Mothers of Fort Hood soldiers found dead want Army to change search protocols
Here is how a soldier becomes listed as ‘deserter’
Family of fallen Fort Hood soldier wants him buried with military honors
Two Fort Hood soldiers found dead – are their cases related?
Ep31: Missing From Fort Hood | Military Murder Podcast
Episode 37: UPDATE to Episode 31 – Vanessa Guillen & Gregory Morales | Military Murder Podcast

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (May 2018)

May 2018

Missing:
Family pleads for missing soldier battling PTSD to come home
Vets group calls for ‘CAMO Alert’
What really happened to Middlebrook’s Sgt. Gene Shultz?
Missing: Michael VanZandt (Hermosa Beach Police Department – 310-318-0308)
Missing in Hermosa Beach: What happened to Mike VanZandt?
He Left to Go to the Bathroom and Never Came Back: Where is Michael Vanzandt?
Missing: Trevor Nichols (US Army), New York
Soldier receives orders to Fort Riley, goes AWOL
Disappeared: Air Force Veteran Michael Vanzandt Vanishes During a Night Out with Friends in Hermosa Beach, California (March 5, 2016)
Jean-Marc Faubert has been missing since the early morning of Friday, May 25th

Cold Cases:
Georgia Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later
No arrests made 3 years after soldier’s murder
New Hampshire unsolved case file: David and Deborah Carreau
Warwick murder case still unsolved, reward offered 5 years later
Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Petitions:
Presidential Pardon Petition | Free Lt. Clint Lorance
Fire Iron River, Michigan City Manager David Thayer For Firing Police Chief Laura Frizzo!

Continue reading

Camp Pendleton Marine LCpl Cody Haley Died After a Tree Fell on Him During Routine Physical Training in California (August 4, 2017)

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LCpl. Cody Haley, US Marine Corps

The 1st Marine Division announced in a news release Marine Lance Cpl. Cody Haley, 20, was doing routine physical training when he was struck and killed on August 4, 2017 by a falling tree at Camp Pendleton, California. LCpl. Haley was from Hardin, Iowa and deployed with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2016.

Related Links:
Camp Pendleton Marine killed when tree falls on him
Camp Pendleton Marine dies in tragic accident
Camp Pendleton Marine Killed by Falling Tree
Falling tree kills California-based Marine from Iowa
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in accident on base, officials say
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in accident on base
20-year-old Marine killed in apparent accident at Camp Pendleton
Marine killed by falling tree during training at Camp Pendleton
Mom of killed Iowa Marine: ‘I’ve been his biggest fan since he was in tee-ball’
Marines probing tree fall that killed serviceman during training at Camp Pendleton
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death, and Suicide at Camp Pendleton, California (US Marine Corps)

Fort Hood Army Sgt. Duane Shaw III Found Unresponsive in Off-Post Killeen, Texas Home; 12th Reported Fatality in One Month (June 8, 2016)

US Army Seal

Sgt. Duane Shaw III, U.S. Army

Army Sgt. Duane Shaw III, 34, was taken to a hospital in nearby Temple, Texas where he was pronounced dead on June 8, 2016. Sgt. Shaw was found unresponsive at his off-post home in Killeen, Texas. Sgt. Shaw enlisted in the Army in December 2005 as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) specialist. He was assigned to the 8th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. Sgt. Shaw deployed in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom; he earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, a Combat Action Badge and a Driver and Mechanic Badge with Wheeled Vehicle Bar, and other awards and decorations. Sgt. Shaw’s death was the third death reported in one week by Fort Hood officials. Decorated combat veteran SFC Antino Glass died in a fatal motorcycle crash on June 5th and Spc. Bernardino Guevara, Jr. was found dead with a gunshot wound on June 6th in a parking lot on post. Additionally, this was the 12th death reported in the month of June at Fort Hood. On June 2, 2016, nine service members died in a flood water training accident on post.

Related Links:
SGT Duane Cass Shaw, III | Find A Grave
Soldier re-enlists on Bridge of No Return
Soldier found unresponsive in Killeen identified
Fort Hood IDs soldier found dead in off-post home
Col. Andrew Poznick, One of Too Many Fort Hood
Soldier suicides: Causes studied in attempt to prevent future tragedies
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)

Eye to Eye with Katie Couric on CBS News: Veterans and Suicide (November 13, 2007)

Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense tells Armen Keteyian that the No. 1 problem facing vets of Afghanistan and Iraq will be mental health. -CBS News (November 13, 2007)

Related Links:
Eye To Eye: Vets And Suicide (CBS News)
The Veteran Suicide “Epidemic” (CBS News)
Nov. 13: CBS News Interviews VCS About Epidemic of Iraq War Veteran Suicides
CBS News: Veteran Suicides An Epidemic (March 20, 2008)
Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs
Wounded Warrior Project
Home Base Program, Veteran & Family Care
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
American Federation of Suicide Prevention
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
320 Changes Direction – The Campaign to Change Direction
Give an Hour: Department of Veteran’s Affairs Partnership
US Department of Veterans Affairs
VA MISSION Act