A massive search is underway for a cadet from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who went missing on Oct. 18 along with his rifle, officials said.
The West Point cadet, whose name has not been revealed, is a member of the Class of 2021, reported Fox News.
Fellow cadets became concerned when he failed to turn up for a scheduled military skills competition over the weekend. He was last seen around 5:30 p.m. on Friday on the grounds of West Point—40 miles north of New York City—and is believed to have disappeared along with his M4 rifle. It is understood the cadet does not have any magazines or ammunition with him.
“There is no indication the cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself,” the military said.
Military police were notified of the cadet’s disappearance after fellow West Point cadets failed to locate him, sparking a major search effort of the facility at around 1 a.m. on Oct. 19. Academic and athletic facilities and cadet barracks were searched by West Point personnel.
Officials from the New York State Police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department joined the probe later on Saturday, before ramping up efforts with drones, K-9 units, and a New York State Police helicopter, which conducted an aerial sweep of the area with a “Forward-Looking Infrared Radar” on Sunday.
Search efforts also expanded to the water on Sunday—the U.S. Coast Guard combed Hudson River’s shoreline in search of the missing cadet.
The Epoch Times contacted West Point for comment, but did not immediately hear back.
Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the superintendent of West Point, said in a statement: “I want to thank the local and state law enforcement agencies and emergency services for their tireless support.
“We will continue to search with all means possible, on and off West Point. Safely locating the cadet remains our focus and number one priority.”
The military added: “We have increased Military Police patrols at sporting events and across the academy as a precautionary measure and to assist in safely locating the missing cadet.”
It said it is “operating under normal conditions with an increased force protection status.”
The academy said it has put in place “increased military police patrols” at sporting events across the installation as a precautionary measure, and to aid in locating the missing cadet.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Point Military Police at 845-938-3333