A Fort Jackson soldier missing for more than a week was last seen in Gary, IN, according to authorities.
Sgt. Rob Larson suffered from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq in 2005 and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to a release from the team of family and friends searching for him. He may not have his medicine for his brain injury and could be disoriented, the release stated.
Larson lives Calhoun County but was stationed in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. On Oct. 7, he was spotted in Gary, IN. After being spotted in another jurisdiction, the Calhoun County officials halted the search, though they are still collecting tips and remain the primary point of contact for all information coming in on the search.
Also, military officials told Pamela Larson, Rob Larson's wife, that they would not search for soldiers who are absent without leave (AWOL), the release stated.
Service members who are listed as AWOL for more than 30 days receive a "deserter status," but Larson's wife said this would not be the case for Sgt. Rob Larson.
The countdown for the 30-day period for Larson's AWOL stats began on Oct. 12, according to a Facebook post from Pamela Larson. The jump from AWOL and "deserter status" is far from obligitory. Larson's brain injury and mental state will be taken into account.
Pamela Larson, also a Purple Heart recipient and veteran, wrote on the Facebook page that, "We know that Rob has 'left' us, but he has not abandoned us. Yes, he is AWOL, but he is not a deserter, and yes there is a huge difference."
Larson is originally from North Branch, MN, and could be headed to his parents' home.
"After I noticed he wasn't in the yard, I started calling his cell phone every hour until it was no longer on," Pamela Larson said in the release. "This has been the most terrifying experience, because I don't know where he'd go. He just hasn't been the same since his brain injury."
Larson was injured in 2005, but returned to Iraq in 2009 and Afghanistan in 2012.
Stats on Larson:
- 190 pounds
- Last spotted at a gas station in Gary, IN, on Oct. 7
- Last purchase was camping and outdoors equipment
- Driving a Jeep with Smittybilt XRC front and rear fenders and a South Carolina Purple Heart license plate number PH5752.
- There is an Autobahn pass on the back windshield
- When he went missing, Larson was wearing a black and grey hoodie, grey jacket and black shirt that has the word "zero in white."
How you can help:
If you think you see Larson or have any information about his whereabouts, call the Calhoun County Police Department at 803-874-2741.
You can also join the Facebook page to get updates from the family and friends.