Fort Hood 'refused to look for slain soldier' and told his mom to conduct her OWN search when he was missing

THE mom of a missing Fort Hood soldier has told how Army officials refused to look for him – and shockingly told her to conduct her own search before his body was found in a shallow grave.

Kim Wedel, the mother of Army PV2 Gregory Morales-Wedel, said that officials at the controversial base ignored 100 emails from her containing leads and tips she had uncovered herself.

Tragically, Gregory's badly decomposed body was finally discovered a few miles from the base in an empty field in Kileen, Texas, 10 months after he first disappeared in August 2019. 

Devastated Kim believes that had the Army searched from him earlier – they would have been able to catch his killer. 

"Fort Hood ignored me at every turn. Greg was just ignored and forgotten. They didn't care," he said.

"When Greg first went missing I spoke to his commanding officer and I told him Greg would not just leave like that.

"He was only weeks away from getting out and had plans to go and work on the wind turbines in Texas.

"He was counting on his paychecks and his GI Bill – there's no way he would have messed that up by deserting. 

"I asked his commanding officer why he would leave when he was so close to being discharged and he just said 'You'd be surprised how many people do'. I said 'Yes I would actually'. It just makes no sense. But no one would believe me. 

"Over the next few months, I got very few answers – they told me they would not search for him and even suggested I search for him myself and post something on Facebook. 

"In fact I counted and I sent over 100 emails to them over that period and I think they replied to two.

"The way they saw it Greg was an adult and we had no proof that anything had happened to him.

"It wasn't enough that he had no money and was not answering his phone.

"In hindsight I should have gone to Fort Hood and raised a huge stink."

Kim said she last spoke to her son on August 19, 2019, when he called and asked her to lend him some gas money. 

That day was the last time he was seen alive driving off base in his black 2018 Kia where he went to a club to meet up with some friends.

It took nine months for the Army to offer a reward for information relating to his disappearance.

Less than a week after the reward was raised to $25,000 they received a tip which led officers to his skeletal remains.

Tragic Greg's body was lightly buried in the field and his clothing was shredded and scattered nearby.

Kim said she was disappointed that it took so long to offer a reward for her son – when a reward was immediately offered after the disappearance of another Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen. 

"I know there has been lots of deaths at Fort Hood – and definitely there is something going on up there that needs looking into but I don't believe the military is responsible for his death," she said.

"But had they started searching for him straight away I do believe they would have been able to catch his killer and bring him to justice. 

"There would have been more evidence if they had put an appeal out quicker and they would have got some more leads. Somebody might have seen something.

"As soon as they put the reward money up – they got a tip that led him to thebody – what if they had done that straight away, we could have found him the first week.

"They put a reward out for Vanessa straight away.

"Now it's hard because it was 10 months ago, his body was badly decomposed, there's no useable evidence.

"It's like whoever did this has just got away with it."

Kim still doesn't know exactly how her son died and has not received a death certificate or autopsy results.

"We don't know what happened to him. I think he must have got on the wrong side of somebody and he was murdered.

"I wasn't aware of him being in any trouble or anything.

"They think that he may have been shot in the face but we don't know for sure.

"The only thing I have is a piece of paper that says he's dead but it doesn't have cause of death on it or anything.

"We still don't have answers."

Kim even had to fight for the Army to let Gregory be buried with military honors in a national cemetery.

Even up until July, Gregory was classed as a deserter – even though his body had been found and police suspected foul play.

After pressure from the family and supporters, the Army eventually removed him from their list of deserters and allowed him to be buried with honors.

"I think they just gave up in the end," she said.

"They just didn't want the negative attention and it was easier just to let him have one."

Gregory joined the Army in 2015 and served two tours in Kuwait and South Korea.

Kim says he seemed happy at the base and she doesn't believe he was the victim of any abuse at there.

However she does agree there needs to be huge changes from the top down at the base after her son was one of 28 soldiers to have passed away from non-combat deaths just this year.

"The hardest thing was not knowing what happened to him," she said.

"Fort Hood told us nothing – there was no communication.

"My daughter-in-law found his car had been sold in Dallas and when I told them – they said they had already found it back in January.

"Why wouldn't they have told us that? It would have saved us months of looking for it. But instead they kept it a secret.

"Did they not think maybe something bad has happened to him seeing as though we have his car and he's not in it?

"What about the evidence that could have been in the car?

"It's all long gone now.

"Fort Hood didn't give us any of his belongings, nothing. The only things I have of his are some things his friends gave me – there was a bag of his he'd left at a friends, things like that."

Kim said she feels for the families of all the soldiers who have died at the base over the last few years – and hopes that official investigations into the deaths give some answers – and force Fort Hood to change.

She said she and her family – including two younger sons aged 18 and 21 have now lost their faith in the military.

"I believe Greg was failed by the military," she said.

"He should have been treated better. We as the family should be treated better.

"We've been through so much – it's been so hard.

"He has two younger brothers aged 21 and 18 and they were really close – they are struggling with all this. 

"My youngest always wanted to join the military but now he won't."

Kim says she likes to remember her son as a kind, funny boy who loved wearing cowboy hats.

"Oh he was a goofball, always being laughing and being silly. 

"He was always helping people he'd do anything for anyone. 

"He loved wearing his cowboy hat and his cowboy boots. 

"We all miss him so much. We'll never get over it."

The Sun reached out to Fort Hood for comment.

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