BISMARK, Ark. (BNc) — A saint stationed at Fort Bragg, NC who was throught to have been kidnapped has been located safely in Arkansas and is now receiving medical treatment.
Spc. Joseph E. Putnam, 22, a native of Bisamrck, Arkansas where he worshipped with his family at the Lord’s church, was reported missing on the morning of Tuesday, February 10. Putnam, who was baptized by Joe May in 1997 along with his mother, Angela, was assigned to C-Company, 2nd Battalion, 508 Parachute Infantry Battalion.
Putman was last seen by his friends along Brag Blvd. He was wearing a plain white t-shirt, Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots. At the time of his disappearance, police suspected foul play.
When Putman did not show up for roll call, his fellow soldiers called his mother, Angela Stanford, in Bismarck. They were concerned because it was not like the third-generation paratrooper to be AWOL.
Stanford, who had last heard from her son the previous Sunday, called police in North Carolina. She said that when she spoke to her son, he wished her a happy birthday and told her he would be out of communication on Wednesday, her birthday, due to field manuevers.
Police opened an investigation into Putnam’s disappearance and in the course, became concerned with what they found. The soldier’s ATM debit card was used around 2:30pm Tuesday at a Kangarooo Store on Ireland Drive in Fayetteville by a black male authorities have termed a person of interest. Later, videos were released showing Putnam and two white males at various ATM machines in the Fayetteville, NC area. Putnam, who was intoxicated by a mixture of alcohol and medication used to treat his Post-Traumatic Stress Sydrome, was apparently giving the men money of his own free will.
As police were using K-9 units to search nearby woods, it was learned on Friday, February 13 that Putnam had made his way from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Little Rock via bus. Stanford, told BNc that a friend received a call from Putnam around 6pm that day a pay phone around a bus station in North Little Rock. Putnam was said to be very disoriented and kept saying that he was in trouble and needed to be taken to the VA Hospital. The friend told him to call his mother, but he kept saying he was out of money. The call was then cut off by an operator needing money.
On Wednesday, February 18, a friend of Putnam’s notified authorities that the soldier was staying with a friend in a trailer park in Garland County, Arkansas. Hot Spring County Sheriff Ryan Burris traveled to pick up Putnam and took him to the Hot Spring County Medical Center in Malvern without incident. He is receiving treatment at the facility for his illness.