EL PASO, Texas -- More than 200 Fort Bliss soldiers and some volunteers combed through the trails of the Franklin Mountains State Park Wednesday looking for a missing soldier, Private Richard Halliday, who has been classified as absent without leave since July.
Fort Bliss continues to classify Halliday, who is assigned to the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, as AWOL, but says evidence now suggests that he left Fort Bliss “earlier than previously reported.”
Fort Bliss officials said the installation and his unit had conducted active searches for him both on and off post, but on Wednesday they were "widening and increasing our search to include areas in and around El Paso."
Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Jacobitz told ABC-7 that Halliday visited the Franklin Mountains often.
"We are looking to find out soldier," said Jacobitz. "Private Halliday is one of our team members, and our command takes the welfare of our soldiers very seriously and we are dedicated to finding Private Halliday."
Among the volunteers who joined the search was a soldier in her civilian clothes.
"Never leave a fallen comrade," said volunteer Felicia Gililland. "When somebody calls and says the needs help finding a soldier, then of course we are going to respond, it's what we do."
There was no word of Wednesday's search turning up any clues on his whereabouts.
Anyone with information about Halliday is urged by the Army to call the Fort Bliss Military Police desk at (915) 744-1237.
Halliday's family has also set up a GoFundMe Page to help with the costs associated with search efforts.