A 20-year-old West Point cadet who went missing with a rifle last week has been found dead on the military academy’s grounds, officials said Wednesday.
The body of Kade Kurita, of Gardena, California, was discovered shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday after local, state and federal authorities conducted an extensive search covering more than 6,000 acres.
“We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita’s family and friends” Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th superintendent of the US Military Academy, said in a statement.
Officials said the cause of death is under investigation, but foul play is not suspected.
Kurita was unaccounted for since about 5:30 p.m. Friday when he failed to report for a scheduled military skills competition.
The academy had said his M4 rifle also was missing, but he wasn’t believed to be carrying any magazines or ammo. Officials on Wednesday did not mention what happened to the rifle.
West Point also had said that there was “no indication” that the cadet — a member of the 2021 graduating class — posed a threat to the public, but added that he could pose a danger to himself.
West Point police, New York state police troopers, the Coast Guard, CSX railroad police, the 23rd Military Police Company from Fort Drum, NY, and local authorities spent four days looking for Kurita.
State police dive teams also use sonar to search the Hudson River and ponds near the campus, the school said.
Before discovering Kurita’s body, West Point announced Tuesday that it refocused its search to the campus’ vicinity because the cadet had no cellphone or financial activity since he had gone missing.
“I would like to thank the N.Y. State police and the 23rd MP Company along with partners,” Williams said in his statement. “They exhibited exceptional professionalism as demonstrated by their tremendous efforts in searching for Cadet Kurita.”
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