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Search team finds Fort Cavazos soldier alive after 11-day disappearance

Spc. Craig Chamberlain
Posted at 12:58 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 20:50:43-04

UPDATE Fort Cavazos soldier Craig Chamberlain has been found alive by a civilian search team after the Army specialist up and vanished 11 days ago.

"We found our son," Virginia Chamberlain said to 25 News. "He is alive and he will be ok."

The mom said the team of volunteers, who started their search this morning at 10 a.m. in Conder Park, found the missing soldier Friday afternoon near his home in Killeen.

"The III Armored Corps is grateful to all the agencies involved in the search for Chamberlain, including CID and Killeen Police Department," an Army official said in a statement released to 25 News. "III Armored Corps also appreciates the tremendous efforts and support by the Fort Cavazos and Killeen communities in finding Chamberlain."

Fort Cavazos command said Craig's spouse, Cam Chamberlain, was found dead earlier this week in the couple's home.

Army criminal investigators are looking into the spouse's death, which is standard procedure if a death happens inside a military member's residence.

"The III Armored Corps is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Cameron Chamberlain, the spouse of Army Spc. Craig Chamberlain," the official said. "Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Cameron Chamberlain."

The Army specialist disappeared after leaving his Killeen home around 6 p.m. on Monday, May 15.

A spokesperson for Fort Cavazos told 25 News on Tuesday that the missing soldier had "willfully absented himself from the Army," based on evidence collected by military investigators.

Chamberlain was assigned to the 704th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 79th Ordnance Battalion on post.

"We are thankful that Specialist Chamberlain has been found," said Lt. Col. Zachary Brainard, commander of the 2nd Chemical Battalion at Fort Cavazos. "We will continue to provide him with the care and assistance he needs. We will also continue to collaborate with CID as they conduct a thorough investigation into this matter."

25 News will update this breaking news story accordingly.

It’s been over a week now and the question remains the same.

Where is Spc. Craig Chamberlain?

“We can’t catch our breath because you just feel like you’re suffocating because part of you is gone,” said Virginia Chamberlain, his mother.

Virginia and his father, Gorden Chamberlain, drove eight hours this week to look for their son.

“We’re out there searching for him. Every person we see on the street, we’re staring at them and trying to take in facial features,” said Virginia.

After learning of Craig’s disappearance, The Chamberlain say Fort Cavazos immediately contacted them and been with the every step of the way.

“The have had multiple agents out many times going to different areas. Going to soup kitchens and to homeless camps,” said Gorden.

The parents say the community is also pitching in.

“We’ve had such a big community of people that have loved on us and people who are out there searching for our son just like we are. They’re right beside us searching, taking time out of their lives to help us,” said Virginia.

The Chamberlain’s say growing up Craig was never hard to find.

“If I went out of the garage in the back up I ran him. Same thing when I went out to water the front yard. When I turn around there he is. I always considered him a shadow,” said Gorden.

Now he’s nowhere to be found.

“You are the light of our life. You’re our sunshine. We miss you, we want to hear that you’re ok,” said Virginia.

The support of the Army, volunteers and community has helped the parents stay strong and confident that they’ll find Craig and bring him home.

“All I need to say is Craig if you here this I need my shadow back,” said Gorden.