New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 12, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5
Search continues for missing soldierMan stationed at Fort Hood did not return from exercise
FORT HOOD (AP) — More than 500 soldiers and other searchers walked side-by-side Monday in scorching heat looking for any sign of a soldier lost nearly three days in the juniper-covered hills of the fort's training range. They came up empty.
Sgt. Lawrence G. Sprader, 25, told his commanders by cell phone that he was lost late Friday, after he was two hours overdue in a solo navigation training drill. He didn’t indicate he was sick or distressed at the time, but his phone’s battery has since died and searchers were worried that he had succumbed to the 90-plus degree heat.
The searchers took a four-hour break during the hottest part of the day Monday to ensure they wouldn’t become ill, said
Col. Diane Battaglia, a III Corps spokeswoman. A handful suffered heat exhaustion during the first two days of the search.
Besides searches on the ground, all-terrain vehicle operators and two Army Black Hawk helicopters were scanning the 15,000-acre training area day and night. By Monday night, roughly 9,500 acres had been searched by ground troops, many of them Sprader’s classmates in the leadership training academy.
The ground search ended at nightfall on Monday, but the helicopters were expected to fly all night. Ground searchers were to return this morning.
“There’s a possibility, especially with the heat index, that he probably was seeking shade, which is obviously compounding the search,’’ Battaglia said.
Sprader, of Prince George, Va., had two canteens and a water backpack, and
because of recent rains, there is surface water scattered on the rolling grassy hills of the training range, she said. Health officials told searchers an individual like Sprader could probably survive four days without water.
Dehydration wasn’t the only concern. Searchers said they also were worried that Sprader may have suffered a snake bite or other injuries that would immobilize him.
Battalia said officials have no reason to believe Sprader intentionally disappeared Other soldiers saw him on the course during the exercise, and fellow students and commanders said he was a model soldier, recently promoted to sergeant.
Sprader was participating in leadership training for noncommissioned officers. Part of that training was a solo navigational exercise designed to test basic map-reading and navigation skills.
Humane Society seizes 40 pit bulls in Houston
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Humane Society seized 40 pit bulls Iliesday after determining that the animals were being raised for illegal dog fights.
Police discovered the animals when they were sent to investigate a dangerous dog complaint. They tracked the dog to its property, where it slid under a fence.
Inside the yard, authorities discovered 40 pit bulls and eight pups. Several appeared malnourished and had scars on their heads.
“The full-grown dogs were
on very heavy chains," Humane Society spokeswoman Courtney Clark said in the online edition of the Houston Chronicle. “Many of them were too heavy to be cut and had to be pulled out of the ground with trucks.”
She said investigators also found a giant spring used to strengthen canine jaw muscles. The spring was hanging from a tree. The device, called a “spring pole,” was confiscated.
The owner, who doesn’t live on the north side property where the dogs were found, was present when the Humane Society took control of the animals.
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