Nearly a week later, Fort Hood learns of missing soldier’s arrest

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FORT HOOD, Texas – A Fort Hood soldier declared AWOL is in a Louisiana jail right now, and he’s been there for nearly a week.

The revelations have sparked even more questions about soldiers’ safety on Fort Hood.

Private Edward Casteel’s fiancé says she find some inconsistencies concerning. The information Fort Hood shared about the soldier’s disappearance doesn’t exactly line up with what jail records suggest.

His fiancé says she needs answers.

For the first time, we see first-hand what the loved ones of missing soldiers go through in their search for answers.

During our interview with Paradise Rodriguez, an official told her over the phone that her fiancé Edward Casteel had been found.

You can see Paradise struggling to hold it together as she takes the news in, and it turns out deputies in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana arrested him nearly a week ago.

“He has been there for six days. It’s clear. He has ID on him. It’s clear who he is. They have allowed this to happen. I’m holding them 100 percent responsible,” said Rodriguez.

FOX44 asked Fort Hood officials how Casteel’s arrest went unnoticed.

“How did you guys not know that he was arrested?” we asked. “I don’t know how to answer that one,” Ltc. Chris Brautigam responded.

Rodriguez says she asked Fort Hood to make the search for Casteel public, but they refused until she did it on her own.

“We chose not to do that based on the fact we saw that he’d left on his own accord, and based on the information that was available to us,” Brautigam explained.

“Had I not gone public and pushed, people have gone out of their way to care about him, a complete stranger to all of these thousands of people, we still might not have known,” Rodriguez said to the Fort Hood officer over the phone.

Rodriguez says she witnessed an encounter Casteel had with other soldiers over the phone – an encounter involving issues with harassment and hazing with other soldiers.

“They were blocking him, made a blockade and were shoving him, yanked his hat off his head, spit in it and on him. He didn’t raise his finger. He didnt swing at them. I said, ‘Eddie, keep calm, go back into your room and we can just text, but I need you to go report that,'” she recalled.

Fort Hood says they knew nothing about those claims.

“No, I’m not aware of any reports like that,” Brautigam said.

So far, there is no word on when Pvt. Casteel will be brought back to Fort Hood, and where things will go from there.

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