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3rd ID soldier reported missing
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No one seems to know why a Fort Stewart soldier went missing last week.
Spc. Jerry James Beck, 35, a 3rd Infantry Division soldier, was declared absent without leave after his unauthorized absence from duty April 27, according to Fort Stewart public affairs.
“On Tuesday, April 26, Spc. Beck was found not present for duty, prompting his supervisors to search for his whereabouts,” Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said. “Phone calls to his cell phone and a search of post for his vehicle were unsuccessful.”
Larson said after Beck was declared AWOL, Fort Stewart officials requested assistance from local law enforcement, including the Hinesville Police Department.
HPD Det. Al Cato is the local lead investigator on the case. So far no one knows why Beck went AWOL, he told the Courier on Tuesday.
“According to his wife everything was fine,” Cato said. “He got dressed for PT one morning. A neighbor saw him in his driveway to go home to change out of his PT clothes. And he made a withdrawal at one of the local banks; that was the last sighting.”
“He just got back from overseas in November or December from deployment,” the detective continued. “We haven’t had any contact with him up until this incident.”
Beck’s brown Toyota Corolla was found abandoned by the Florida Department of Transportation’s Road Rangers on Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County, Fla., on Sunday, according to
Foul play is not suspected in the case, reported Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer J.D. Callaway to have said. The Tampa Bay online publication reported deputies searched with dogs and a helicopter but did not find Beck. Beck’s keys reportedly were left inside the vehicle, according to
“The case is, as of today (Tuesday), still status quo,” Callaway told the Courier in a phone interview. “There have been no further sighting or information in the Tampa Bay area.”
Callaway said Beck’s car engine apparently “seized up” and that is why he stopped his vehicle on the interstate.
“We don’t believe he stopped there purposely to get out and leave the vehicle,” he said. “The vehicle was basically immobile. What occurred after that…we’re not sure. It’s an active missing person case as far as we’re concerned.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200, the Hinesville Police Department at 408-8236 or Fort  Stewart at 767-8666.

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