Social Issues

Civilians search near Mexico border town for body of missing US soldier

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Mar 10 (efe-epa).- A group of civilians searched the outskirts of the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez on Wednesday for the body of United States soldier Richard Halliday after an anonymous tip reported he was buried in the area illegally.

Some 40 people turned out with picks and shovels to search the area known as Cerro del Caballo, about 20 kilometers from the border with El Paso, the Texas city from which Halliday disappeared in July 2020.

The loved ones of the 21-year-old soldier met with the prosecutor’s office of the state of Chihuahua, to which Ciudad Juárez belongs, to inform them that two weeks ago they received information about the young man’s whereabouts, lawyer for the Action Group for Human Rights and Social Justice, David Peña, said from the search site.

“The relatives asked (authorities) to carry out a search in the area. However, the authorities told them that they do not have enough personnel to carry it out and that protocol has to be [followed],” said Peña.

There were two reports where presumably in one of the properties that are nearby here, Richard Halliday … could have been in one of these properties and eventually they could have hurt him,” he added.

Halliday is described as 1.70 meters tall and weighing 75 kilograms, with a light brown complexion and wavy dark brown hair.

He was last seen leaving his Fort Bliss barracks on July 23, 2020 wearing a gray T-shirt and charcoal gray zip-up hoodie, gray cargo shorts and dark gray running shoes with paint splatters.

Sammy Carrejo, representative of the family on the border, clarified that this Wednesday was a search by citizens as they invited the search groups and the general population to join.

“There was information that Richard could have been in one of the properties and they could have hurt him. This data has already been corroborated. Not all the information that comes to us is followed up – this data has already been verified,” he said without providing further details.

Carrejo indicated that the prosecution authorities argued that this search was not necessary, although according to his experience “dozens of skeletal remains were found” in other areas where the public ministry did not believe it appropriate to look.

After Halliday disappeared, his parents indicated that authorities at Fort Bliss were conducting an investigation. The support of the US consulate in Ciudad Juárez was also requested.

Ciudad Juárez is considered one of the most violent cities in Mexico and in 2020 there were 1,643 murders there, of the more than 34,500 that were registered throughout the country. EFE-EPA


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