Missing West Point Cadet Kade Kurita Found Dead After 4-Day Search

Foul play not suspected as Kurita's body found following huge search operation
October 23, 2019 Updated: October 23, 2019

Missing West Point cadet Kade Kurita of Gardena, Calif. was found dead on the military academy campus late on Oct. 22. A press release from West Point said that foul play is not suspected, and that the exact cause of death is under investigation.

A search was initiated when Kurita did not present himself for a scheduled military skills competition at the United States Military Academy some 50 miles north of New York City on the evening of Oct. 18. An M4 Carbine was found to be missing at the same time. It was not believed that Kurita had ammunition for the rifle, and West Point stressed that they did not believe him to be a danger to others, but rather to himself.

West Point continued to operate as normal during the search, though with “increased law enforcement activity.”

“We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita’s family and friends,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy.

Map of West Point, New York

The search was carried out by West Point Military Police in association with New York State police, the Coast Guard, CSX railroad police, local police, and the 23rd Military Police Company from Fort Drum, New York. The search extended over some 6,000 acres over four days, with dive teams searching the Hudson River, as well as lakes and ponds on the sprawling campus.

In an earlier statement on Oct. 22, Col. Cecil Marson, garrison commander of West Point, said “There has been no cell phone or financial activity in over 72 hours … This leads us to believe that he is still in the vicinity of West Point.” Search efforts on the grounds of the academy had thus been intensified before Kurita’s body had been discovered.

“I would like to thank the N.Y. State police and the 23rd MP Company along with partners,” said Williams. “They exhibited exceptional professionalism as demonstrated by their tremendous efforts in searching for Cadet Kurita.”