FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fort Bragg officials are now saying a soldier was absent without leave weeks before he and his family were reported missing.
The family was found safe Sunday night, but the Army’s statement is now leading to new questions about the family’s disappearance.
Army officials say special operations soldier Travis Reynolds has been AWOL since Jan. 17.
They say Reynolds left on his own and later took his wife and baby son with him. The family’s disappearance had police across the country searching to find them.
Their Fayetteville neighbors say they’d rarely seen the couple, who lived in a little blue house.
“We might not know each other by name or anything or whatever, but there’s a good group of people,” said neighbor April Edwards.
But according to public records, Travis Reynolds lived there with his wife Deanna and their 12-month-old son. And neighbors say they were surprised to hear about the family.
“That’s just crazy, that’s wild, you don’t even know what’s going on in your own neighborhood,” said Edwards.
The entire family and even their two dogs vanished last week.
Police say they were last seen on Feb. 5 with family in Utica, New York.
But in a statement Fort Bragg officials say Reynolds was gone long before he and his family were reported missing.
A Fort Bragg statement says the unit followed standard procedure about the soldier’s disappearance.
But it was police in Tennessee who tracked the family down at a campsite Sunday night.
Tennessee police say the family is safe, but no longer at that campsite.
“It’s weird, I mean it doesn’t make any sense,” said Edwards.
CBS North Carolina visited the family’s home in Fayetteville Monday but got no answer.
Fort Bragg officials say they’re still looking for answers in an investigation to find out what really happened.
It’s still unclear at this point whether Reynolds will be charged in military court for going AWOL.
Officials say that is still under investigation.
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