A Camp Pendleton Marine who was believed to be headed back to the base from Arizona on Monday, but never arrived, was found safe in Texas Saturday night, military officials said.
Lance Cpl. Job Wallace, 20, was taken into custody by Naval Criminal Investigative Service and law enforcement officers at a rest area in Navarro County, according to Kurt Thomas, special agent in charge of the NCIS Marine Corps West field office.
Thomas did not offer details of how Wallace was found or what he was doing there but FBI documents reveil what his intentions may have been.
According to local news sources that obtained FBI documents, he may have been preparing to target Mexican cartels and human traffickers in a vigilante action.
Wallace’s family became concerned when he failed to arrive back at Camp Pendleton after a three-day leave at home west of Phoenix and on a camping trip, his mother said in an Associated Press story.
She said he had been promoted recently and was eager to return to base. He left a friend’s home in Surprise, Ariz., on Monday night.
His mother said law enforcement officials told her that her son’s cellphone was pinged that night in Arizona, but a Border Patrol camera caught his truck the next morning heading east on Interstate 10 near Fort Hancock, Texas, southeast of El Paso. Police in Surprise turned the case over to NCIS.
“We offer our sincere gratitude to the local police departments in Texas and Arizona, as well as our federal partners, for their aid in bringing this to a safe resolution,” Thomas said in a statement issued Saturday night.
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