Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, a soldier who went missing in August 2019 and whose remains were found June 19 in Killeen, is no longer a deserter, according to the Army’s deserter list.
The Army’s online list was updated July 9.
Fort Hood officials confirmed the change of status Wednesday afternoon.
In a news release, Fort Hood officials said his status was changed “to active duty” at the time of his death, however, police and Army officials have not said when Wedel-Morales died.
Removing him from the deserter list entitles him to a military burial.
“His status was administratively changed based on trustworthy investigative updates into his disappearance in coordination with investigators,” the Fort Hood release said.
Kim Wedel, his mother, told the Herald in June she had been hoping autopsy results would lead to the Army removing him from the list.
Wedel said she received a call Tuesday from Col. Patrick Disney, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, of which Wedel-Morales was assigned.
She said Disney could not tell her much, but she said, “They determined his death came before his drop (from rolls) date.”
She said Disney told her that the information came from the Killeen Police Department.
Since his remains were found in Killeen, the Killeen Police Department is investigating his death.
KPD spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez said Wednesday she could not provide much comment on the status of the investigation.
“I can tell you that the case is actively being investigated and we are still waiting for the autopsy results to be returned from the examiner’s office,” Miramontez said via email Wednesday.
Miramontez said KPD will have to wait for the medical examiner’s report to know the approximate date when Wedel-Morales died.
Wedel said the date of his funeral and burial are pending the return of his body, but she said a funeral will be held in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and he will be buried at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, which is approximately 65 miles southeast of Sapulpa.
Wedel said she hopes the family will have his body soon.
“We had started to make arrangements to go ahead and bring him home last Friday,” she said, noting that it was before he was removed from the deserter list.
“While no words or gestures can make up for the loss of a family member, friend, or fellow Soldier like Gregory Morales, we hope that this news will comfort his family and the friends he served with in this time of terrible grief,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, in the release.