Kade Kurita is the West Point cadet who had been missing since October 18. Kurita, 20, was a native of Gardena, California. Kurita was part of the class of 2021. On the night of October 22, Kurita was found dead on the grounds of West Point.
Kurita was first named as the missing cadet on the same day he was found dead. It had been reported that Kurita is missing along with his M4 rifle. Kurita’s garrison commander, Cecil Marson, according to a news release from the academy, “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.” Officials have said that Kurita is not thought to have ammunition for his gun.
Anyone with any information regarding Kurita’s disappearance is asked to call the West Point Military Police at 845-938-2208.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Officials Do Not Believe There Is Foul Play Involved in Kurita’s Death
Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th Superintendent U.S. Military Academy, announced that Kurita had been found dead in a statement in the early hours of October 23. Lt. Gen. Williams said, “We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita’s family and friends… I would like to thank the N.Y. State police and the 23rd MP Company along with partners. They exhibited exceptional professionalism as demonstrated by their tremendous efforts in searching for Cadet Kurita.” Officials do not believe that there is foul play involved in Kurita’s death.
2. The Search for Kurita Covered More Than 6,000 Acres
The West Point press release says that Kurita had been due to attend a scheduled military skills competition at 5:30 p.m. on October 18 but never showed up. The cadet’s disappearance is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigation Division. While search efforts are being led by the 23rd Military Police Company and the New York State Police. There are 130 soldiers involved in the search from Fort Drum in New York. The search has covered more than 6,000 acres. The search on October 22 has been hampered by adverse weather conditions in the area.
Officials have said that they do not believe that Kurita is a danger to the public but he may be a danger to himself. The school has made contact with the Keller Army Community Hospital and other local hospitals to check if Kurita had received medical treatment. New York State Police dive teams are searching the Hudson River as well as lakes and ponds around West Point.
3. The Initial Search for Kurita Was Conducted by His Classmates
The New York Post reported that the initial search was undertaken by Kurita’s fellow cadets on the night of October 18. It wasn’t until 1 a.m. on October 19 when the New York State Police was brought in.
4. As a Result of Kurita’s Disappearance, West Point Is Operating With an ‘Increased Force Protection Status’
Academy Superintendent Lt. Gene. Darryl Williams had said in an earlier statement regarding the search, “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. Despite the search, the academy said that it is operating under normal conditions albeit with an “increased force protection status.”
5. Kurita Presented a Photograph of West Point to ‘Avatar’ Star Stephen Lang Less Than 2 Weeks Before His Disappearance
A little over a week before his disappearance, Kurita presented “Avatar” star Stephen Lang with a panoramic photograph of West Point Academy. This followed a talk the actor had given to The Cadet Film Forum and the Department of English and Philosophy at West Point. Kurita had been chosen to present the photo as he is the cadet in charge of Cadet Film Forum. The talk took place on October 9.