A West Point cadet and an M4 rifle have vanished, and “despite extensive search efforts by military, federal, state, and local agencies,” neither has been found, the U.S. Military Academy said on Monday.
The college said in a statement that the student, Kade Kurita, a member of the class of 2021, was last seen Friday around 5:30 p.m. on the campus and was expected to take part in a military skills competition this past weekend. But he never showed for the initial road march.
His peers began looking for him immediately, followed by school employees, military police and New York State Police, who conducted an aerial sweep with a helicopter.
Still, they found no sign of the cadet.
“There has been no cell phone or financial activity in over 72 hours,” Col. Cecil Marson, the academy’s garrison commander, said in a statement. “This leads us to believe that he is still in the vicinity of West Point.”
West Point said they do not believe he has any magazines or ammunition, although it is possible he is at personal risk.
“There is no indication the cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself,” the academy said, adding that it is “operating under normal conditions with an increased force protection status.”
“The installation has increased military police patrols at sporting events and across the academy as a precautionary measure and to assist in safely locating the missing cadet,” the academy said.
“We will continue to search with all means possible, on and off West Point,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the academy’s superintendent. “Safely locating the cadet remains our focus and number one priority.”
Anyone with information should contact the West Point Military Police at 845-938-3333.
This story has been updated to include the student’s name and Marson’s statement.