Sgt. Elder N. Fernandes, a soldier from Brockton, has been missing from Fort Hood in Texas since last week, and now an Army spokesman says Fernandes had been transferred to a new unit after he reported sexual abuse.

Fernandes was transferred to “ensure he received the proper care and ensure there were no opportunities for reprisals,” said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Brautigam, a Fort Hood First Cavalry Division spokesman, in a statement.

Fernandes, 23, was reported missing on Wednesday. Local police said he hasn’t been seen since Monday when his staff sergeant dropped him off at his home in Killeen, according to The Army Times.

Brautigam said that there is an “open investigation of abusive sexual contact” involving Fernandes. “The unit sexual assault response coordinator has been working closely with Sgt. Fernandes, ensuring he was aware of all his reporting, care, and victim advocacy options."

Fernandes, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist, is assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade.

The man’s family and the U.S. Army are asking for the public’s help in finding the missing soldier. Fernandes is approximately 5-foot-4 and 133 pounds, according to local police. He was last seen wearing black Army PT shorts and T-shirt with red athletic shoes.

Other soldiers from Fort Hood have gone missing in the recent months. The body of Vanessa Guillén, 20, was found in July after she disappeared in April. Another soldier fatally shot himself after police confronted him about her death.  A 22-year-old female civilian is charged with helping that soldier dispose of Guillén’s body.

Pvt. Mehjor Morta, 26, was found dead last month less than twenty miles from the base in Killeen, Texas, and he was at least the seventh Fort Hood solider to die since the start of 2020, according to CNN.

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