HometownFort Hood


LULAC steps in to assist family of missing Fort Hood soldier in their search

Elder Fernandes
Posted at 10:36 PM, Aug 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 23:40:19-04

The family of Sgt. Elder Fernandes continues searching for answers following his disappearance from Fort Hood.

More of Fernandes' relatives have flown in from Boston to meet with Fort Hood officials for an update on the investigation.

The League of United Latin American Citizens is also stepping in to help the family with their search.

"This is ridiculous this needs to stop this is happening back to back," said Diana Rivera.

On the heels of Vanessa Guillen's funeral, and the one-year anniversary Gregory Wedel-Morales' disappearance, Diana Rivera and Jennie Minzer say it's a pattern that is as clear as day.

"It's almost like who's next," said Rivera.

"You know these people give up their freedom for us and they end up losing even more,” said Minzer.

After advocating for both the Guillen and Morales family, Rivera and Minzer want to reinforce that community support is essential.

“They say leave no solider left behind well guess what that's how I feel about the family. Leave no family behind," said Rivera.

"We are here today again to stand with our community, to make sure they get the help that is needed,” said Analuisa Tapia.

Central Texas Director of LULAC Analuisa Tapia has been working closely with the Fernandes family hoping they will find answers soon.

"The family says he was in the hospital receiving care for two weeks until this past Monday investigators say on that day Sgt. Fernandes was driven off the base by a staff Sargent, and now we are told that he has disappeared," said Tapia.

LULAC's National President did meet with the Secretary of the Army earlier this month about changing the culture surrounding sexual abuse at Fort Hood.

Tapia feels this is the time to for the Army to be transparent and do their job.

"Investigators here and in Washington must leave no stone unturned and they must help find Sgt. Fernandes. The family demands it, the community demands it, and so do we,” said Tapia.

The Army has confirmed Fernandes had recently been transferred to a different unit because he was a victim in an "abusive sexual contact" investigation.

Anyone with information about elder Fernandes’ whereabouts is asked to contact the Fort Hood military police or the U.S. Army CID.