Remains of missing Fort Hood soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales found in Killeen, foul play suspected
KILLEEN, Texas - The remains of missing Fort Hood soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales have been found in a field in Killeen, Texas according to his family.
The United States Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) received a tip that there was a body in a field located in Killeen. CID called in local police and a Texas Parks and Wildlife K-9 to help with the search. That K-9 located the skeletal remains.
Kim Wedel, the mother of Private Second-Class Gregory Wedel-Morales tells FOX 7 Austin the remains have been identified as his.
On June 21, CID also confirmed the remains to be that of Wedel-Morales and announced that foul play is suspected at this point in the investigation. Morales was positively identified using dental records with the assistance of the U.S. Army Dental Corps.
Chief of Public Affairs for CID, Christopher Grey told FOX 7 Austin the circumstances surrounding Wedel-Morales’ disappearance were “suspicious.”
In December Wedel-Morales’ family saw on CARFAX that someone in the Dallas-area was trying to have his car inspected, and alerted CID. In January, they saw the car was transferred to Killeen. In May, CID told Wedel-Morales’ mother, Kim Wedel, that they took the car into possession in January -- promising to run tests.
DOWNLOAD THE FOX 7 AUSTIN NEWS APP FOR YOUR MOBILE DEVICE
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 Wedel-Morales.
"We just want to thank whoever gave the tip to CID that led to him being found. While the news was not unexpected it is still very hard to process this."
Wedel says her son was “always willing to help anybody.” He grew up in Oklahoma, the eldest of three boys.
She says he “always wanted to join the military,” following in the footsteps of his “dad, uncle, grandfather,” and “many other people.” He joined the Army immediately following high school graduation in 2014.
During his service, he got married and changed his last name from Wedel to Morales. In August 2019, he was in the process of separation. “He wanted to get a job driving for Pepsi like his brother,” said Grey.
The finding comes only a week after they raised the reward for information in the case. The where the remains were located backs up to Kings Court off of Florence Road and is surrounded by neighborhoods.
RELATED: Reward increased for information on missing Fort Hood soldiers
Wedel-Morales went missing in August 2019 at the age of 23. The Oklahoma native was labeled AWOL, and then a deserter. He was set to exit the army in September. He had also been making arrangements to work post-army.
He was declared dead at 11:10 a.m. Friday morning and an autopsy has been ordered.
Wedel started a petition to change protocol for labeling soldiers “AWOL.”
“I just want them to take it more seriously when people are missing, especially ones who have no reason to disappear,” she told FOX 7 Austin on June 16.
At this point, investigators have no credible information that this case is in any way connected to the search for Pfc. Vanessa Guillen who went missing from Fort Hood in April. That investigation is still being aggressively investigated.
RELATED: US Army troopers continue searching for missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Killeen police department or CID at 254-287-2722.