EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) — Nearly five months after Fort Bliss soldier Richard Halliday disappeared, his status has been changed to missing from AWOL — or absent without leave — and a deserter.
Meantime, his parents continue their search.
Now living in El Paso, more than 1,778 miles from their former home in Sarasota, Fla., the disappearance of their son has upended the lives of Robert and Patricia Halliday, whose lives now revolve around finding their son. The couple sold their home in Florida so they could keep searching ’round the clock.
Officials at Fort Bliss still cannot confirm whether the soldier left the base.
“We have been eating, drinking, sleeping, trying to find our son,” Patricia Halliday said.
The Hallidays have followed several leads in their search, including climbing mountains and venturing into Ciudad Juarez on numerous occasions.
“Richard has been missing so long,” Robert Halliday said. “It is kind of like he just vanished.”
Robert Halliday said the family continues to organize rallies outside of Fort Bliss and work with news media to find the soldier. They have also written to lawmakers, hoping for answers.
“The last time he was seen was on Fort Bliss,” Robert Halliday said. “For all we know, he is still on Fort Bliss somewhere.”
KTSM 9 News has regularly checked in with officials at Fort Bliss. A spokesperson said it is working with federal and state resources to find the 21-year-old. There has also been a search on post, with no leads.
Some progress is coming, though.
“We have great news, not the best news but some good news,” Patricia Halliday said. “Richard’s status has been changed to missing.”
Halliday was listed as AWOL — or absent without leave — and a deserter. KTSM has confirmed his status has officially been changed to missing.
With Richard missing for so long, his family has now picked up his belongings. The family said Halliday has a Christmas tree in his inventory. They have now put up the tree in their home.
“We decided to honor him,” Robert Halliday said.
The family said they are not giving up hope anytime soon.
“I know I’m hoping for a miracle,” Patricia Halliday said, “but if it was their child, nothing would stop them.”
The military is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for credible information that leads to Halliday’s whereabouts.
Anyone with information can contact the Fort Bliss CID Office at (915) 568-1700; the Fort Bliss Military Police at (915) 744-1237; or contact their local police department. Persons can also anonymously submit information at https://www.cid.army.mil/report-a-crime.html.
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