KILLEEN, Texas - Fort Hood soldier Gregory Wedel Morales disappeared last year and was first labeled “AWOL” by the military. Then, they declared him a “deserter.”
However, last month, his remains were found in Killeen, and investigators suspect foul play. Family members say because he wasn’t a deserter, he should receive a proper military funeral.
His cousin, Abigail Wimberley, started a petition online. She lives in Hawaii and said since she couldn’t come down to Fort Hood to protest the injustice, she wanted to still find a way to demand change.
In the few days since starting the petition, Wimberley has gotten more than 18,000 signatures. She says it is important for her and her family to have a military funeral for Wedel-Morales because they come from a military family. She added that his dad, uncle, and grandfather all served and this should be something he deserves.
“He wasn’t a deserter,” she said. “He was a soldier that got murdered.”
Wedel-Morales disappeared from post last year, and for 10 months, family members were left without answers. They say Fort Hood and the Killeen Police Department were not transparent.
“If they would have done their job, Greg would have been found sooner and we wouldn’t have been left in the dark for so long," Wimberley said,
Wedel-Morales’ remains were found while CID was investigating the case of then-missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen. Wimberley said without that investigation, they may have never found answers.
“If it wasn’t for them searching for Vanessa, they would have never found his body,” she said.
However, Wimberley added this isn’t where this should end. There are cases of missing soldiers across the country that need to continue to be looked into. And she hopes that her cousin’s story can push for change. To view the petition, click here.