Marine who was reported missing weeks ago has been found

Kavian Elder (Facebook)

Update: The 19-year-old Marine, from Memphis, who went missing from Fort Leonard Wood during the first week of May was found in Missouri.

Private First Class Kavian Elder was booked into the Crawford County jail for the US Marshall service on a federal violation charge on June 11th.

According to jail records, Elder was released six days later on a $0 bond.

May 21 -A US Marine who disappeared from a military installation two weeks ago has been listed as AWOL— but his family fears his disappearance was not an intentional act.

Kavian Elder was based at Fort Leonard Wood, located in a forest-rich area of central Missouri, roughly five hours away from his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

For those confused as to why there are Marines stationed on an Army post, Marine Corps Detachment Fort Leonard Wood provides training for Engineer Equipment Operators, Maintainers and Technicians; Military Police and Corrections Officers; Motor Transport Operators; CBRN Specials; and Non-Lethal Weapons Instructors.

The Marine’s father, Fred Elder, made a heartfelt appeal to military authorities to help find his son and bring him back.

“Kavian, we all miss you. We love you, and your mom loves you. I’m your dad. I love you,” Fred Elder stated, emphasizing his deep concern for his son.

It has been over two weeks since Fred Elder last heard from his son.

Kavian’s chain of command informed the father that Kavian had not been present for a mandatory head count and asked if he knew of Kavian’s whereabouts.

Fred Elder is frustrated with the situation, believing his son would not voluntarily go AWOL.

“The United States Armed Forces, they have the resources to try to find him, to try to look for him,” Fred Elder stated in an interview with FOX13, showing faith in the military’s capabilities to locate his son.

The search for Kavian has become nationwide, as Fort Leonard Wood officials have issued an all-points bulletin (APB) and placed him on an unauthorized absence [UA] list.

Despite these measures, there has been no success in finding him.

In an attempt to widen the search, Elder turned to social media. “Let me put out information to the masses on social media to try to get as many people to share the information as far as him being missing,” he said, hoping to gather more leads through public help.

Additionally, Elder mentioned that a leader at Fort Leonard Wood speculated that Kavian might be in Memphis.

The speculation is based on recent mail from T-Mobile regarding a new cell phone line registered to Kavian’s account under a 901 area code, which is used in Memphis.

“You have to face up to what you have done,” Elder’s father said in a message to his son. “But I will be there with you, hand in hand, step for step to deal with this situation.”

According to his social media posts, he joined the Marines sometime last year after graduating from Desoto Central High School in Southaven, Mississippi.

“This has been a journey of 12 years of my life…But i made it,” he wrote in a post with pictures of himself in cap and gown.

A post made in June of 2023 shows him visiting an Air Force recruiting office in South Haven.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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